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D-Day and Beyond: In History and Memory

The course will examine the Allied preparations and operations for the D-Day invasion of Normandy, France on 6 June 1944 and follow their advancement from the beaches to eventual victory against the Nazis in 1945. The discussions will focus primarily on the accounts of those who fought. Most are readily available online in this country and abroad. Each will be used to help better explain what happened, what the soldiers experienced, and how they overcame enormous odds to gain the ultimate victory. The course will also focus on the living memory of the invasion since 1944, the establishment of monuments and cemeteries, and how the invasion is commemorated in France and among all sides in the combat. Readings are brief and personal and will be considered for the role each plays in broadening our understanding of the brave soldiers who, as former President Bill Clinton, correctly argued, ‘saved our civilization’.

DR. MICHAEL GALGANO is a retired professor of history from JMU. He taught at the university level for over 50 years and offered courses in European and World History. Dr. Galgano’s research interests in social and gender history have been published in multiple publications. He taught a course in Normandy, France

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