There are many monuments at Normandy. All of them tell an important story that must not be forgotten.

One of the most recent is the “Leadership” monument which is a simple portrayal of Dick Winters, a college grad from Pennsylvania who enlisted in the Army just before the War broke out. Winters chose to serve in the 101st Airborne. Lieutenant Winters, would retire from the military as a Major and be nominated for the Congressional Medal of Honor for his leadership on D-Day. His story is told by Steven Ambrose in the best-seller, Band of Brothers, and in the HBO series of the same title.

Major Winters, who died in 2011, was from Easy Company, a fact he never forgot and a treasured legacy he never hoarded. He never accepted the mantel of hero but said he served with a band of heroes, not just the 101st, but every man and woman who served in World War II. Dick Winters was raised a Mennonite. He served in World War II as an officer who did not drink, smoke or cuss. Some of his men affectionately called him “The Quaker”. He was a man who knelt to pray and rose to lead.

In the end, Major Winters, Easy Company, the 101st Airborne, the Army Air Corps and all the Allies who fought re-wrote the definition of a single word in the 20th Century. They defined the concept of “service”. Which is why whenever we heard of World War II as kids those people in uniform were always called service men and women.