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Local events to mark D-Day anniversary, ties to sister city of Fréjus

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A series of local events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and its connection with Fréjus, France—Fredericksburg’s longtime sister city—begins next week.

The Fredericksburg Sister City Association Inc. is hosting a presentation on Wednesday by Pete Jordan, a retired Air Force colonel and Eisenhower scholar. “Eisenhower’s Decision: D-Day Re-Examined,” will be held in The Free Lance–Star community room. The free session begins with light refreshments at 6:30 p.m., with the program starting at 7:30.

Eisenhower, the nation’s 34th president, was supreme allied commander during the Normandy invasion on June 6, 1944.

Jordan is the Eisenhower Memorial Commission’s senior advisor for international affairs. He’ll talk about Eisenhower’s fateful choice of June 6 for the invasion across the English Channel to France, and the repercussions of that decision.

Jordan served as deputy director of Air, Space and Information Operations for the Air Force District of Washington; as a senior military adviser to the State Department, and at the Pentagon as chief of the Regional Issues Division for Air Force headquarters. He also served in NATO in Brussels and at the White House as a special adviser to Vice President Al Gore. He holds a doctorate in political science from Northwestern University.

The Sister City “Honoring Our Heroes” main event is June 20. That begins with an afternoon lecture, followed by a formal dinner and program in the evening.

The lecture, “Eisenhower and Marshall: Partners in Command,” examines the complicated relationship between the two World War II leaders. It begins at 3 p.m., in the conference room of the Hyatt Place Fredericksburg–Mary Washington in Eagle Village.

Critically acclaimed military and intelligence author Mark Perry will deliver the lecture, which is free and open to the public.

The evening program begins at 5 p.m., with a dinner, and includes a reception and tribute at UMW’s Jepson Alumni Executive Center ballroom. Among the guests will be several World War II veterans, representatives of the French government and military.

The evening will focus on the D-Day anniversary, its link to Fréjus, and honor those who served, said Kathryn R. Willis, a longtime member of the local Sister City organization. She planned and organized the events.

Tickets for the dinner and program are $100. They are available online at fredericks, and can be purchased at the Fredericksburg Visitor Center and Beck’s Antiques.

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431


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