Plan ahead: 75th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy
Commemorations marking the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings in 2019 are shaping up to be big. The board of tourism in Normandy, France, assures us the occasion will be celebrated with every bit of the splendor and solemnity this significant date deserves. A rich program of events slated for early June will rekindle memories of this tragic period of world history while emphasizing the spirit of hope. Military parades, firework displays, airdrops, giant picnics, concerts and military camp re-enactments are just some of the events which will bring the aura of the times back to life.
A related and not-to-be-missed event is the 2019 Band of Brothers Actors Reunion, running in parallel with the Normandie-WWII International Film Festival. The 75th anniversary of D-Day will be the last time an official Band of Brothers Actors Reunion takes place in Normandy.
More than 30 actors from the Band of Brothers series have already given verbal commitments to attend the reunion, although the organizer notes that at times actors are forced to pull out of such events due to packed work schedules or late-breaking filming commitments. The actors will be joined by seven veterans, including three from the 101st Airborne Division.
Highlight events include the World War II Foundation’s International Film Festival Red Carpet Event at the Utah Beach Museum, with actors from the Band of Brothers television series, D-Day and World War II veterans in attendance on June 2 (75 euros); a Band of Brothers Actors signing at the Utah Beach Museum on June 3 (20 euros, admission to the museum not included); a special screening of a short film chronicling several Band of Brothers actors returning to where they did their “boot camp” training for the series, followed by a panel discussion in which the actors discuss behind-the-scenes aspects of filming Episodes 2 and 3 on June 3 (20 euros); a free concert featuring actors from the Band of Brothers on June 5; Band of Brothers actors signing sessions on June 6 and 7 (20 euros), and a screening of the winning films from the World War II International Film Festival on June 7 (free). For the complete program and terms and conditions governing the purchase of tickets, visit the official website.
The festival and reunion are organized by The World War II Foundation, a non-profit organization committed to educating future generations about WWII through the retelling of the personal stories of those who fought in it. The foundation accomplishes its mission through the production of documentary films which are donated to American Public Television for airing on PBS affiliates, networks throughout the U.S. and around the world. They have produced 22 educational documentary films to date and has won numerous awards attesting to the quality of its productions. For more on the foundation, visit its Facebook page.