Statue in Normandy, France will honor the Commander of World War II's Band of Brothers and all United States Army Junior Officers who fought on D-Day
PROVIDENCE, R.I., July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World War II Foundation, a 501 c3 non-profit based in Kingston, Rhode Island is honored to announce that a formal date has been set for the dedication of the Richard Winters Leadership monument in Normandy, France.
On June 6, 2012, the 12-foot high monument, honoring all United States Army junior officers who led the way on D-Day, June 6, 1944, will be dedicated just outside the village of Sainte-Marie-du-Mont, Normandy, France. The dedication ceremony will be hosted by three-time World Series winning Major League baseball pitcher Curt Schilling and former Governor of Pennsylvania and Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge.
The monument will recognize (then) First Lieutenant Richard Winters, leader of World War II's famous Band of Brothers, and the leadership abilities of all U.S. Army junior officers of all divisions and corps during the Normandy phase of Operation Overlord. Sainte-Marie-du-Mont was the objective of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne on D-Day.
The statue will be designed by internationally known sculptor Stephen Spears of Fairhope, AL, and be the likeness of Lt. Winters, who passed away in early January of 2011. Mr. Spears is the sculptor of the United States World War I Doughboy statue in Cantigny, France and the U.S. Navy World War II monument, dedicated in 2008 outside the Utah Beach museum, Ste. Marie-du-Mont, France. The statue of Mr. Winters will be positioned in a leadership position (as a leader of men).
The statue will be identified as (then) 1st Lt. Richard Winters, E-Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne. The monument will prominently feature the words Leadership 6-6-1944 and a quote from Richard Winters below his likeness which will read: "Wars do not make men great, but they do bring out the greatness in good men." The monument foundation will also have the words inscribed: Dedicated to all United States Army junior officers who led the way on June 6, 1944.
An HD Documentary Film is also part of the project. It will focus on Dick Winters' leadership abilities in Europe in WWII, his ability to motivate, inspire and lead men when initial planning has broken down, all principles that are still important today to those who lead and set the stage for others to succeed. Interviews with E-Company men alive today and a never before seen interview with Major Winters will be utilized. The film will be narrated by actor Damian Lewis, who portrayed Dick Winters in HBO's Band of Brothers.
David F. Alfonso, Founder, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Empire Investment Holdings based in Miami, FL and a key contributor to the Richard Winters Leadership project and Executive Producer of the documentary film based on Major Winters' leadership of men in combat in WWII titled 'Hang Tough,' said in a statement that "I am so incredibly honored to be a small part of this wonderful and necessary project recognizing the leadership abilities of (then) 1st Lt. Dick Winters , but also all the other young U.S. Army junior officers who demonstrated courage and dedication to duty on June 6, 1944," Alfonso said. "It takes a tremendous amount of passion and support to make a project like this a reality. But it is a small price to pay for ensuring that generations to come will never forget what price these men had to pay for our freedom and the freedom of others. As the ranks of the men that remain continue to thin by 1,000 per day, we who recognize the bravery and accomplishments of the greatest generation have to carry the torch so their sacrifices and deeds will never be forgotten."
The monument and documentary is still currently seeking a title sponsor for the dedication ceremony in Normandy and a presenting sponsor of the 'Hang Tough' documentary film.
"Thanks to the efforts of the late author Stephen Ambrose and film producers Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, Dick Winters' leadership of men was well chronicled in the book and HBO mini-series Band of Brothers," said Tim Gray, Chairman of the WWII Foundation. "Dick Winters was one of many American junior army officers who led troops into difficult combat situations on D-Day behind both Omaha and Utah beach. The goal of this monument project is to see all these company level commanders recognized for their outstanding qualities, which came to the forefront on June 6, 1944. We are honored to have been given permission to do this by utilizing the likeness of one of the more visible, well-known and respected leaders in the history of the 101st Airborne in WWII," said Gray.
SOURCE The WWII Foundation