The American Legion Showcases 65th Anniversary of D-Day With Exclusive Footage of St. Mere Eglise Ceremonies Thanks To WW2 Reflections of Dublin

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WW2 Reflections Film Maker Richard D. Lanni filmed the French Government's St Mere Eglise ceremonies in the first town to be liberated during World War II.

2,000 D-Day Soldiers are dying at an alarming rate each month

The American Legion has posted exclusive footage Online filmed by WW2 Reflections, Dublin, Ireland, of the 65th anniversary ceremonies of D-Day in St. Mere Eglise, Normandy, France. ( ).

At the epicenter of D-Day anniversary activities each year is the small town of Ste. Mere Eglise, made famous by the 1962 hit movie "The Longest Day." Each year, even today, veterans, historians, tourists and re-enactors swarm to the Normandy town to see history come alive. Active-duty paratroopers jump from C-130s in the countryside surrounding the town. Parades, wreath-laying ceremonies and activities at the town's Airborne Museum.

The town's 65th anniversary celebration was captured by filmmaker Richard Lanni, WW2 Reflections. St. Mere Eglise was the first town to be liberated during the World War II conflict. "2,000 D-Day Soldiers are dying at an alarming rate each month," explained Director Lanni, who is shooting European military events pro bono for the American Legion.

The stars of the world's largest production - a film on the invasion of Normandy, "The Americans on D-Day," premiered in the French language last month (May 7, 2009.) Several hundred local officials, visiting military dignitaries and stars of the film attended.

"We decided to show it in St. Mere Eglise, Normandy, because it was the first town to be liberated," explained Richard D. Lanni, film director, WW2 Reflections, Dublin, Ireland. "We are thrilled with The American Legion's support, endorsement and now posting of our historical recordings of the French government ceremonies honoring veterans for those heroic days."

In April, about 100 people saw the film in Hollywood at the American Legion Post #43, Hollywood, CA. "It was well done, and the reproduction of the Normandy scenes were pretty darn powerful, and the overlays of graphics were very good," said Adj. Finance Officer Terry Duddy, American Legion Hollywood Post 43. "It was well received by our members attending here. We have posted a link for DVD sales, and five dollars goes to paralyzed veterans on each film sale on our website ( )."

Film Director Richard D. Lanni, who appeared on the Joey Reynolds Show, WOR AM, New York, said, "It was an honor to be in America to salute U.S. soldiers on this 65th anniversary and to show our film that captures an accurate and powerful illustration of D-Day."

"When we flew over the English Channel, there were a million ships in the water, and I have yet to meet any of those guys who were on those ships," said 85-year old retired U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Morton Schecter, Northridge, CA, who flew 35 missions out of England as a United States Army Air Corps tail gunner in a B-24 Liberator warplane. Schecter attended the Hollywood premiere with his Son Glen and nine-year-old Grandson Ben. Ben led the pledge of allegiance at the event.

Also attending the French premiere was battle film Star Ellwood von Seibold, who has spent the last five years giving tours in Normandy. "D-Day became a focus point of my interest in life, and I decided to live a dream and move to France and take people all around these areas," explained Seibold.

"The Americans On D-Day provides an exciting insight into one of the most pivotal events of the 20th century," said Captain Dye, who was a drilled sergeant in Vietnam and told the crowd "I'm really proud to have a hand in this effort and film that provides a foxhole-level view of what happened in Normandy on June 6, 1944."

"I've seen a lot of tour videos that purport to give viewers an insight into what gallant Americans endured and accomplished on D-Day, but this one really hits the mark. The Americans on D-Day provides a stirring, GI-level look at one of the most momentous battles of World War II," explained Dye.

It is WW2-Reflections' first tour film for its parent company, Labyrinth Media & Publishing Ltd. of Dublin, Ireland. Labyrinth specializes in WW II battlefield tour DVDS for the U.S. Market. The film is now available on DVD at the official website listed below. Lanni is currently filming a second film, "A Soldiers Story."

Editor's note: To obtain a media copy of The Americans on D-Day or for media interviews contact Aida Mayo or George Mc Quade, call 818-340-5300, or email: Publicity (at) mayocommunications (dot) com or visit:

To view the American Legion video visit: . The Americans on D Day Blog: .


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George S. McQuade III

Aida Mayo
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