Salem, VA – A woman searching for answers about her father’s World War Two experiences finds more than 100 lost pictures from the Normandy campaign that will help fill in the blanks.
It’s been a tough month for Lynne Howard; recently forced to put her 93 year old father into a nursing home in the final years of his life.
Difficult for many reasons but especially because her father is just a shell of the man she grew up loving and admiring.
A veteran of the Normandy Campaign, Harry Gordon wouldn’t say much about the war even though Lynne always wanted to know.
“Knowing my Dad – being a veteran – all through school I was always interested in the little facts that you don’t normally hear about. I was always very intrigued; always trying to get stories from my Dad and he never wanted to share them,” said Howard.
Her father had good reason. The war still brings him nightmares.
“Friend… if you’ve ever been in a war you don’t want to talk about it. You don’t want to say nothing,” said Gordon.
Then again, maybe he did, because as his family went through his belongings they found more than a hundred wartime pictures taken by a friend who fought alongside him.
Pictures lost in time, only to be found just in time for Gordon to tell his daughter the stories.
“It was just like… Oh wow! I just got this wealth, this gift that’s been given to me. A period of time in history when my Dad was young and went through,” said Howard.
Stories of how he was on his way to land during the initial invasion of Normandy… only to be turned around before hitting the beaches; delayed for two days.
Stories of the towns all over France that he fought through day after day. Nothing left in war’s wake except ruin and death.
The story of Russian women held captive as slaves…
“I’ll never forget those people,” said Gordon.
A picture capturing them seeing daylight for the first time in months.
“It was good to see somebody happy,” he added.
Stories of a man who survived… and still survives nearly 70 years later.
Just one of two men left standing from a unit that was once all young men.
Which makes the stories that come from these pictures so important to this family.
“Just what a hero he is to have survived it. And I’m just so proud of him. I want my boys to understand how great a man their grandfather is. And I want them to tell their children and now I have something to keep the story going.”