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190606-F-AG991-1027
The parachute of the U.S. Army Private John Steele monument billows in the breeze on the Sainte-Mère-Église Church spire in Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 6, 2019. This year marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day when U.S. forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. During this invasion, Steele dropped from the skies with infrantrymen belonging to the 82nd Airborne Division with the objective of seizing Sainte-Mère-Église from Axis defenses. During the drop, Steele’s parachute snagged on the church tower where he pretended to be dead for two hours before Germans took him prisoner. Four days later he escaped captivity and rejoined his division. Steele was awarded the Bronze Star for valor and the Purple Heart for wounds sustained in combat. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Kristof J. Rixmann)