May 30 – Hobbs, NM. On Tuesday, June 6, a number of New Mexico Junior College history students will have the chance to learn about a day that changed the course of history—but they won’t find it in a book.
To commemorate the historic date, also known as D-Day, NMJC’s Pannell Library has extended an invitation to all area veterans to attend a reception in their honor on Tuesday, June 6, from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. A number of NMJC students who are currently enrolled in history classes will be attending as well.
At the event, a commemorative D-Day documentary provided by The History Channel will be shown, followed by an informal sharing of recollections and experiences by veterans.
D-Day’s Operation Overlord, depicted in movies such as Saving Private Ryan, was the largest air, land, and sea operation undertaken before or since June 6, 1944. The landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men.
When the battle was over, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; of those, more than 4,000 died. Yet somehow, due to extensive planning and preparation, and due to the valor, fidelity, and sacrifice of the Allied Forces, Fortress Europe had been breached, thus foreshadowing the end of Hitler’s dream of Nazi domination.
Although the NMJC event commemorates the decisive World War II battle, it is open to all veterans. According to Dr. Sharon Jenkins, Director of Pannell Library, “We’re inviting veterans, along with their friends and families, to join us. We encourage them to bring photos, medals, or any valued memento of their time spent in service to our country to share during the event. It will be an invaluable learning experience for us all, and an exciting opportunity to experience history from the perspective of the men and women who lived it.”
Vicky Gann, reference technician at the Library, has created a display for the event comprised of notable World War II books and award-winning photographs. But she is also providing one particularly special memento for the event. “I’m bringing my father’s uniform,” she said. “Perhaps, in some small way, it will help a student appreciate the cost of freedom.”
Now that is a history lesson.
Mexico Junior College, 5317 Lovington Hwy, Hobbs, NM 88240
Phone: 575.392.4510, 1.800.657.6260
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