On Monday June 3rd, ahead of his Wednesday departure for Normandy France, Congressman Tom Suozzi met with three veterans of the D-Day invasion of Normandy at his office in Huntington.
The three veterans shared with the Congressman their accounts of D-Day, June 6, 1944, and the days and weeks that followed. Mr. John McHugh, of Whitestone, was 20 years old when he landed with the Army’s First Infantry Division, “The Big Red One”, on Omaha Beach at around 7:30am on June 6, 1944. Mr. Irving Goodman, of Huntington, was a 20-year-old machine gunner in an anti-artillery gun battalion when he landed on Omaha Beach on June 7, 1944. On June 13, 1944, 17-year-old Harry Arlin, a survivor of an Italian concentration camp, interpreter, and tank driver landed in Normandy.
“Seventy-five years later, our nation is still humbled by the bravery and sacrifice of those who participated in the landings on the beaches of Normandy. This week, as I travel to Normandy to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, I will carry with me the stories of horror and heroism of John McHugh, Irving Goodman, Harry Arlin and the countless others who fought, died, and changed the course of history,” said Suozzi.
Congressman Suozzi will be participating in a bipartisan Congressional Delegation (CODEL) to mark the occasion of the 75th Anniversary of the Allied D-Day Invasion in Normandy, France. Suozzi and the Members of Congress will pay tribute and partake in ceremonies to honor those lost during the Battle of Normandy.
While in Normandy, Congressman Suozzi will lay wreathes on the graves of the 21 soldiers from the 3rd Congressional District, who are interred at the American Cemetery in Normandy, to honor their sacrifice and service to our nation. Additionally, Congressman Suozzi will pay his respects at the grave of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, by leaving a wreath and a small handful of dirt from the Medal of Honor recipient’s childhood home of Sagamore Hill in Oyster Bay.
He will also meet with the mayor of Sainte-Mère-Église, M. Jean Quétier. The small French village, located next to what is now known as Omaha Beach, played a significant role in the Allied landings in Normandy and is the sister city of Locust Valley, NY, which is located in the 3rd Congressional District.
After Congressman Suozzi returns from Normandy, he will hold a memorial service for locally interred D-Day soldiers at the Long Island National Cemetery in East Farmingdale.