My Relation to History

By: Emily Stratman

My steps on the beach.

I write about my relation to the Normandy Landing beach codenamed Utah Beach.  Where I’m from, one can only dream of finding themselves standing on the location where their great grandfather fought in the largest amphibious invasion fleet in history. Luckily enough the weather was good the day I went and was able to get on the beach. Coming from a largely split Army-Navy family, you tend to learn about all who served over the years, adding that into factors of how and where I grew up, its easier to dream about seeing where they fought than making it a reality. One member of my family that I hear about every year is my great grandfather Herman Siegall who landed with the 4th Infantry Division also known as the Ivy Division. Being able to see the famed Utah Beach that my family would talk and teach me about growing up gave me a new since of relationship with those in my family that I never got to know but others like my father and uncles did.

I learned about my great grandfather primarily through my dad. Well, my dad explained what’s in the brown box that my great mother sent him years ago. Inside that box are a multitude of pictures and artifacts that would catch anyone’s attention. The items range from currency in circulation during the war, family Pictures, his time at boot camp, to an original copy of the 1941 platoon photo at Fort Benning, GA.

The 1941 Original Copy Platoon Photo

But besides these pieces of history, there is also the book on the war that he used to help him speak again after a heart attack and there is his flag that was given to my dad after great-grandpa Herman passed. Through these pictures and items, my sister and I learned about our family history and the connection to the largest amphibious invasion in history.

          These are some of the items inside the box mentioned.






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