How to recognize the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Butler County today and this week

Butler County will hold numerous events this week in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the massive Allied invasion on the Nazi-occupied French coastline.

On June 6, 1944, 160,000 troops from the United States, Great Britain and Canada descended upon the Normandy beaches. About 9,000 soldiers were wounded or killed during the invasion.

Staff at the Butler County Historical Society are working to determine the number of area soldiers who served during World War II, said Executive Director Kathy Creighton. They can account for about 10,000 but do not expect to be done researching for several years.

The National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting will host an event today on its museum lawn to honor all veterans who fought that day.

READ MORE: West Chester museum improving historic building to boost hours

Melinda Zemper, a spokeswoman for the VOA museum, said that the event will include a speech by Ohio Rep. George Lang, R-West Chester Twp., a prayer by the Rev. Jim Riehle, pastor of St. Maximilian Kolbe Catholic Church, and a color guard performance by Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 7996.

“This event is important to honor not just those who served during D-Day, but all veterans,” Zemper said.

Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be served, and donations will be accepted. A tour of the museum will follow the conclusion of the ceremony, which is expected to end by 9:30 a.m.

The Butler County Historical Society will host two events to observe D-Day. The society will open its display of WWII artifacts, and a veterans’ panel at 7 p.m. is free to the public at the Benninghofen House Museum. Four veterans will speak at the event, including two who served in the Battle of the Buldge, one who served in the South Pacific, and one who helped liberate concentration camps.

Creighton said that it took the society almost a year to prepare its WWII display, and its artifacts were collected from its own collection and donations by Butler County residents.

“We wanted to honor veterans who served in WWII, and it’s a perfect time to so because of D-Day,” Creighton said.

Many other historical societies will create similar displays next year to celebrate the 75th anniversaries of the Victory in Europe and Victory over Japan days, but Creighton did not want wait until then to recognize WWII veterans.

READ MORE: Butler County’s World War II heroes: Historical society to preview exhibit on area stories

The society will also recognize D-Day on Saturday with an event intended primarily for children and their parents. The event, which begins at 9:30 a.m. and runs to 2 p.m., will exhibit the involvement of Butler County residents and companies in supporting the war efforts.

Other activities include an description of rationing, a scavenger hunt, and an egg collection to simulate the gathering of used metals as done during WWII.

The event is free and open to the general public and will be held at 327 N. Second St. in Hamilton, or at the Emma Ritchie Auditorium in the case of rain.

The Hamilton Lane Library will begin its D-Day series at 2 p.m. today with its “Butler County in Normandy” event. Other events will follow this month related to D-Day technology use on June 13 and a WWII genealogy event on June 20.

Brad Spurlock, the public services librarian, will be the presenter at all three events. His presentation today will highlight around 10 Butler County veterans who served and also a timeline of what happened at D-Day, 75 years ago.


Butler County Historical Society

327 N. Second St. Hamilton

Veterans Panel, today at 7 p.m.

Official Commemoration, Saturday at 9:30 a.m.

National Voice of America Museum of Broadcasting

8070 Tylersville Road West Chester Twp.

D-Day commemoration, today at 9:30 a.m.

About the Author