Celebration of a Hero’s Too Short Life

July 4, 2017 is an Independence Day we will never forget.  That is why I chose it.  All eleven of the the family were in Cambridge UK at the American Cemetery  to celebrate the life of my oldest brother George, a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division,  who jumped in the early hours of June 6, 1944. He  was  wounded at the battle for La Fiere Bridge in Normandy, and died on the ship back to England.  He was 20 years young.  I was not born until two years after his death.    As the last of my immediate family, I feel a responsibility to pass this story of our family’s hero to my children and their children.  I heard the other day that it takes 3 generations to forget history.  I am doing all I can to insure that my grandchildren will both  know and remember our history.

I have quite a few tales to tell as I share the steps my family took starting in Normandy and then to Cambridge. I hope this will encourage each of my readers to keep their own   heroes   and everyday  family  members and their stories alive by  repeating tales to  family today, recording,  and preserving them  for the generations to come.

Peace

http://www.AParatroopersFaith.org     Visit  to learn more.

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Amazing Grace. . . . . .

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Thank you to all of you who prayed for my granddaughter, Grace. In the video you will  hear about her day on September 15, 2017.  The picture was taken in May 2018.  She is a walking miracle.  Grace’s story starts at 4:10 on the video. 

Katie Bell shared a post.

About 2 months ago, Grace was asked to share her story for a video that AMC would use as a fundraising tool for the new pediatric ED. If you know Grace, you know that she is quiet and reserved and really doesn’t like a lot of attention. The only way we could get her to agree to it is if we did the talking – which sort of negates the whole thing – but in the end she shares some of her experience. She is so brave and we are bursting with pride. We will never, ever, ever be able to repay AMC for saving Grace’s life – so we did this. It’s our hope that AMC can use her compelling story to raise money for this very important project. The video is 8 minutes long and you will need to hear from Sergio and Lynn first – they have an important story too.

 

 

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June 5 Memorial Jump in Normandy

 June 5th, 2018 D-Day Jump

On June 5th 2018, the memorial D-Day reenactment jump at La Fiere was dedicated in George B. Tullidge III’s honor. Anne Bell provided copies of A Paratrooper’s Faith for all of those jumping that day. Below is a message we received from Mike Gibbons, one of the jumpers that day.

The Association of Partroopers that jumped is The Round Canopy Parachute Team. According to Eric Ladourdette of France, they left from the Upottery airport which had not been used for 74 years. This airport was used by the famous Band Of Brother 506 PIR of 101 Airborne on the D day .

http://www.southwestairfields.co.uk/page17.html

Thulai van Maanen of the Netherlands arranged a flower arrangement and waited for the jumpers on the dropzone to tell GBT’s story to the group. After their jump and after GBT’s story the booklets were handed out to the jumpers by 101st Airborne and WW2 veteran Vincent Speranza. After this small ceremony the Round Canopy Parachuting Team placed the flower arrangement at the La Fiere Monument. Thulia left GBT’s picture there too.

Thulai has been a family friend for many years and shared this wonderful picture with us. This is the monument at La Fiere.

This is a message we received from Mike Gibbons of the UK.  He was a member of the jump team on June 5, 2018.

I am very proud to have a link to George B. Tullidge. I was unaware of him and his legacy until the 5th of June this year when  I  and members of the RCPT (Round Canopy Parachuting Team) jumped into the La Fiere Bridge /St Mere E’glise, Normandy, France DZ , (drop zone) 74 years to the day after GBT and his brave comrades.

Afterwards we were presented a copy of “A Paratrooper’s Faith.” In a quiet moment shortly after, I started to read through it and I understood how this small booklet had helped GBT and 1000’s of soldiers in the years and wars since his mother and sister Anne started sending them out. I’m a combat vet myself. I thought of all the lads who had read the words before me and I could imagine the strength and comfort it gave them during difficult times in war and after.

I felt I had to contact Anne and thank her and let her know how important I thought this small book was and how it had touched me and alot of my army friends I showed it to. I decided I wanted to visit George and two weeks ago I did. I wrote a few words in a booklet and gave GBT salute. I felt happy to have visited and felt I’d completed a circle I did not know existed a month ago.

 

Visit the website: aparatroopersfaith.org
Posted in American history, Eric Labourdette, paratrooper, service, St-Mere-Eglise, Uncategorized, USA, WWII | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Going Organic in Sikkim, India . . . . Results Are In

sikkima

Sikkim is a small North Eastern state which borders Tibet, China and Bhutan. It is famous for its spectacular landscapes.  Now it is known  for this recognition on   World Environment Day.

Another example of the indomitable and incredible Indian spirit, hard work and intellect. 

 

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Sgt. George B. Tullidge Honored

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Iron Mike statue at La Fiere Bridge, Sainte- Mere- Eglise, Normandy.

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2018 first memorial jump to honor American paratroopers come to liberate France. The jumps prior to D-Day were quite different and executed in the early morning hours of June 5. I have the “stick” of GBT’s flight which was scheduled at 1:30 AM. Not only was it dark and foreign but the sky was lit with German rockets and bullets. The planned element of surprise was negligible.

The Iron Mike Statue is just above the bridge on a hill overlooking the beautiful countryside of Normandy. The name “Iron Mike” is a uniquely American  slang  expression to refer to men who are “tough, brave, and  inspiriting.”

Many thanks to Thulia van Maanen and Eric Labourdette for their vision and work  to honor my brother and all the other Iron Mikes  who sacrificed so much to free France.

To learn more about my brother George Bowler Tullidge lll, please visit our website. 

 

http://www.aparatroopersfaith.org/

Iron Mike Airborne Memorial

The Airborne Trooper Statue is a tribute to the American Airborne Soldiers of D-Day. The monument is located next to the Bridge in La Fiere where on the 6th-9th of June members of the 505th Parachute Infantry Regiment and 325th Glider Regiment fought against repeated German attacks to hold the bridge.

The base of the statue contains the inscription

“A grateful tribute
to American Airborne soldiers
of D-Day
6 June 1944 to 7 June 1997”

The monument is a replica of the “Iron Mike” statue located in Fort Bragg. The original was sculpted by Leah Hiebert in 1960-1961 modelled on Sgt. Major Runyon.

Also on the site is a bronze table orientation table shaped as a folded parachute and a bronze book of remembrance.

“To pass on the memory,
to remind that today
We live in peace,
Freedom, dignity and
Because others                                                                                                                               Gave their life for us.

AMEN

 

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Ely Cathedral

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Ely Cathedral  dates back to the year 672 AD and was one  of the  major sites for Medieval pilgrims. Pilgrims are still visiting  today to the tune of 250, 000 annually.  Granted many of these pilgrims visit to see the exquisite Romanesque, Gothic architecture and sparkling stained glass windows or  listen to the ethereal boys choir. There are others who come to pray , meditate and give thanks to God for blessings and search for  guidance.

The church got its name from St. Elheldreda who restored an old church on the existing  foundation which became a monastery  and  thrived for 200 years.

Here is the prayer said on June 23, the feast day of the saint.

“Eternal God,
who bestowed such grace upon your servant Etheldreda
that she gave herself wholly to the life of prayer
and to the service of your true religion:
grant that we, like her,
may so live our lives on earth seeking your kingdom
that by your guiding
we may be joined to the glorious fellowship of your saints; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

What’s more perfect to fill the spaces of a majestic cathedral than the majestic music of Widor.

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The Peacock Tea Room in Ely

Peacocks Tearoom in Ely England

July 4, 2017 after our family visit to Cambridge American Cemetery and celebration of my brother’s information being complete and correct on his forever gravestone, we caught the train to Ely.  It was only a 20 minute ride.  Yes, a 20 minute ride.  The amazing timely and efficient British rail system.  We had experienced the gift of British modeled train travel in India.Honestly, one of many happy memories  was an 18 hour train ride from Goa back to Ahmedabad where the trains ran  on time and of course I loved the Indian hub-bub.  I understand some people might  not like that aspect of living in  the midst of one billion Indian souls I am not one of them loving every minute.

Back to the Peacock Tea Room. . . . .  .It was recommended by Tracey at the cemetery and it turns out, it was an award winning tea room attaining  national recognition in the distant past.   Here are some pictures. . . . .

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Our group was so these large tables would accommodate us.

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Guests are served with various teacups from the collection.

If you are traveling in Britain consider a stop at  this elegant traditional tea shop and B&B. We stayed in Cambridge in an Air B&B  Victorian Row house because the cemetery  was the center of our visit.  I have no doubt of the hospitality and gracious service you would received at The Peacock for tea and or an overnight.

One cultural warning. . .  In the UK butter is spread thinly in sandwiches.  My youngest granddaughter Violet took a bite of a ham  finger sandwich  to discover the butter and you see she is allergenic to all milk products. She was fine after her dad swept her off to the washroom.

Next stop the Ely Cathedral. . . . . .

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A Project to Remember Our Heroes

 

The American Cemeteries all over Europe, which are the last resting place of our  soldiers,  have a mission to both care for the dead in a dignified and most respectful way  and  showing  care and gratitude  to the families who gave of our best to free the world of the tyranny of Hitler and the Nazis .  This is the 74th anniversary of D-Day and there are few immediate families left.   I was born two years after my brother’s death.  The mission has changed slightly. My friend Tracey Haylock is collecting photographs  of the fallen to put young faces to the  simple grave markers.  . . . . . permanent records of their “too short ” lives and their “sacrificial ”  deaths.

Many thanks to Tracey and Susie, the knowledgeable and  ever so kind docents of the cemetery and Superintendent Rich for his gracious welcome for several visits by my family.  Rich came in to welcome Tullidge family members on Sundays and with  Susie and Tracey on the 4th of July, a holiday in the UK.

One special memory was early morning before we left Cambridge when I went to George’s grave on the way out of the city. The mowers were at work so as to finish before visitors of the day arrived. One weather worn man stopped his mower and dismounted walking toward me. He pointed to George’s cross and flowers we had placed on the day of family celebration. He looked at me quizzically and I said, yes, my brother. He grabbed my hand and gave me a gentle but firm shake, turning and walking back to his mower.

These dear people of the UK have not forgotten our sacrifice for freedom, we must keep our heroes’ stories alive as well.

Posted in American history, Uncategorized, WWII | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments