World War II vets to be honored on D-Day anniversary
By Frank Vaisvilas Correspondent May 30, 2014 8:46PM
Updated: July 2, 2014 2:46PM
World War II veterans will share their experiences during the war on June 6 to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion at an event hosted by Smith Senior Living in Orland Park.
D-Day was a critical turning point in the war, when U.S. and allied forces invaded Nazi-occupied France by sea from England.
The event is meant to honor World War II veterans who are residents at Smith Crossing in Orland Park and its sister community of Smith Village in Chicago.
Sheila King, spokeswoman for Smith Senior Living, said about 80 of the 600 residents of the retirement communities are veterans of either World War II or the Korean War. She said the company hosted an event last year to honor Korean War veterans and about 80 people attended.
This year’s event will include a talk by Bernie Nash, 92, Smith Crossing resident who served during World War II in the Navy. He will discuss dive-bombing missions that targeted German submarines. After the war, Nash achieved the rank of a two-star rear admiral.
Cliff Hullinger, 93, a resident of Smith Village, will talk about his time as a sergeant in the Army fighting the Nazis in North Africa and his service in Italy, where he spent an entire winter pinned down in a foxhole.
“We’ll have two very different points of view on the war,” King said.
The D-Day event is free and open to the public and includes a complementary lunch for those who make reservations by calling (708) 326-2300. It will have actual World War II military vehicles on display and a slide show of war photos.
The event begins at 11 a.m. and will include a color guard ceremony and remarks from Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin.