Wexford Scouts travel to Normandy for D-Day anniversary
A delegation of Wexford Scouts have travelled to Normandy to mark the anniversary of the D-Day landings of World War II.
Led by Camp Chief Noel Whitmore (13th Clonard Group) the scouts visited a number of historical sites during their trip to France and each received the world-recognised 'Messenger of Peace' award for their efforts.
Before setting sail from Rosslare Harbour the scouts were presented with a wreath on behalf of the people of Wexford by Mayor George Lawlor, this wreath was subsequently laid at the site of the Iron Mike Memorial in La Fiere - a monument built to honour US paratroopers who gave their lives during the D-Day landings which saw thousands of British, US and French troops carry out a sustained offensive on Nazi forces.
Over the course of their time in France, the scouts visited all five of the D-Day beaches from the Allied invasion of 1944; Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. They also visited Point du Hoc and the Pegasus Bridge and made a special acknowledgement to the Women of War (Femme de Guerre), before taking an emotional journey to the American cemetary where the many thousands of US soldiers who perished during the war were buried.
At their closing ceremony in St Marie Du Mont the group were presented with an International Neckerchief, a camp Red Necker bearing the Normandy Coat of Arms and 75th Anniversaire of Normandie as well as their Messenger of Peace Neckerchiefs. The concluding event was a re-enactment of the landing on Utah Beach.
The trip had additional significance for two of the scouts; Jack Holohan represented and honoured his late grandfather who had been a scout leader for over 40 years, and Shane Whitmore, who was invested in the Venture Section by his father and Camp Chief Noel Whitmore at a Special ceremony in St Marie du Mont Square.