This photo is one I have had and studied for more than twenty years. It has always been a favorite of my extended maternal family, including my mother’s grandparents W. P. and Charlotte Siegel and great grandmother Charlotte Raiffeisen. Lewis Mothersbaugh and his wife great-aunt Maria also have held my interest and are easily recognizable, as are my grandfather’s sisters: Ida, Edna, Tena and Emma Siegel. My mother’s great-aunt Amalia Raiffeisen is the easiest to distinguish as she had a white stripe in her hair by the time she was in her 30s. The mystery lies in the identity of the other people pictured here.
As we experience the 75th anniversary of the day the Allied Forces invaded Europe it is worth noting why the day was so vital then and now. The sacrifices of the men that day were monumental. According to the U.S. Army, more than 160,000 men crossed the English Channel to five beaches in Normandy, France marking the greatest sea-borne invasion in history. Nine thousand Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded. Over 100,000 of their brave comrades made it off those beaches and on to defeat Nazi Germany.