Point of the Spear: The Big Red One

"Ray's Rock" on Omaha Beach, where medic Ray Lambert was part of the first wave during D-Day (Ray Lambert)

Health Editor’s Note: As we approach the 75th anniversary of D-Day, we can reflect on the the sacrifices made by so many and the memories that that day and all the days and planing that led up to and away from this fateful day holds. We take time to be in awe of the soldiers who were there and the sacrifice so many made….Carol

One of the Few Surviving Heroes of D-Day Shares His Story

by Jamie Katz Smithsonian.com

As world leaders and assorted dignitaries join the throngs of grateful citizens and remembrance tourists in Normandy this year to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day, one group in particular will command a special reverence: veterans of the actual battle.

Their numbers are rapidly dwindling. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that fewer than 3 percent of the 16 million Americans who served in World War II are still living. For those who saw the fiercest combat, the numbers are even more sobering. One telling measure: As of mid-May, just three of the war’s 472 Medal of Honor winners were still alive. The youngest D-Day vets are now in their mid-90s, and it is generally understood, if not necessarily said aloud, that this year’s major anniversary salutes may be the final ones for those few surviving warriors.

One of the returning American vets is 98-year-old Arnold Raymond “Ray” Lambert, who served as a medic in the 16th Infantry Regiment of the army’s storied First Division, the “Big Red One.”

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