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Memorial Day, 2017

The officer you see pictured below is 1st Lt. Edmund Duckworth. He is one of thousands we honor on Memorial Day.


Allow me to tell you a little about him.

First Lt. Duckworth was serving as Executive Officer for E Company, 16th Infantry, 1st Infantry Division when he was killed, June 6, 1944 on Omaha Beach. He was survived by a wife, Audrey (Travers) Duckworth, and a son, Patrick, who was born in November 1944. Known as Bill and Duck to his comrades, 1st Lt. Duckworth was a veteran leader, earning the Silver Star with Oak Leaf Clusters.

First Lt. Duckworth was a native of Lancaster County.

What I know of him I know mostly as the result of the hard work done by a student at my school. A junior at my school applied to the Normandy: Sacrifice for Freedom Albert H. Small Student & Teacher Institute. She was one of fifteen students selected from across the nation. Those fifteen students are studying the life of a soldier or sailor who is buried in the American cemetery in Normandy. Later this month, the students will offer eulogies by their graves. The eulogies are built upon extensive research of the soldier or sailor they chose to study.

And I'm one of the fifteen teachers who get to accompany them in France. The bigger honor, though, has been the chance to guide the student in researching our soldier's life and record. It's been a fascinating journey.

I ship out for Washington on June 17. Between now and then I'll have more of a chance to tell you about our research and our soldier. On June 22 we fly to France, where I'm excited to have the chance to tour sites I might never again get to see. I invite you to follow this blog where you can learn more about 1st Lt. Duckworth and the places where he and thousands of other servicemen and women fought for us more than seventy years ago.

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