Chippewa Falls veterans reflect on 70th anniversary of D-Day - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Chippewa Falls veterans reflect on 70th anniversary of D-Day


Chippewa Falls (WQOW) - 70 years after the invasion of Normandy, the events of D-Day are still on the minds of many Americans. That includes a pair of veterans living in Chippewa Falls.

"This is a picture I had taken for my parents when I was working as a control tower operator," said Jo LaRue, U.S. Navy Veteran.

LaRue wasn't going to end up on the front lines of the d-day invasion. But 70 years later, she is incredibly grateful for those who did.

"It was a dreadful thing to ask of thousands of people to do, to risk this almost certain death," LaRue added.

The push against Nazi Germany was the largest sea borne invasion in history.

"The landing was an enormous undertaking. And there were so many men, and it was so difficult. And there was so much loss," said LaRue.

According to the U.S. army over 9,000 allied troops were wounded or killed. As a member of the us army's 27th infantry division Ralph Schumacher had been sent to Japan for his service. But he vividly remembers learning about the invasion.

"To this day I can see those hundreds of parachutes coming down. And it's remarkable that those guys were able to get to the ground. I told my wife this morning "I wonder if any of them collided in the air? What a tangled mess that would have been, and they were sitting ducks up there," said Ralph Schumacher, U.S. Army veteran.

As for the stories of what it was like to be there? They're hard to come by, and not because many of those who actually participated have since passed away.

"Service people don't talk about it. The people that I've known the best throughout my life that actually fought the war are very, very reluctant to even think about it," LaRue said.

"It was finally over, then we were able to go back home. We had enough of it. We were gone four years and never got home once. So it was a feeling, a good feeling to be back home to, I'll tell you," Schumacher explained.

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