D-Day Memorial Honors Man Responsible for Its Creation

The National D-Day Memorial came into being in 2001. It was brought about at the behest of a man named Bob Slaughter, a member of the infantry who fought life and limb for liberty in the Omaha Beach invasion. While it was President George W. Bush who finally gave him his wish to see a standing tribute to the invasion, Slaughter had wanted to see the National D-Day Memorial become a reality since Bill Clinton was in office.

Bob Slaughter passed away in 2012 when he was 87 years of age, 68 years older than when he stormed the beaches of Normandy with his comrades. Now, he is being honored in a further remembrance, this one taking the shape of a bronze sculpture of the man in his advanced age. The bust at the D-Day Memorial will honor not his feats as a young soldier, but his feats in bringing honor to his comrades by ensuring that such a monument be put together in the first place, the Roanoke.com reports.

The bust is to be revealed in finished form on May 26th of 2014. Standing at a normal height of 32 inches, Slaughter’s sculpted form will commemorate his life after the war. Seven other pieces have been previously made, including the forms of Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt. The D-Day Memorial will host an event in which they honor the new bust, which is designed to make Slaughter look as tenacious in his civilian form as he was as a soldier.

Few so far have seen images of the bust, much less the work itself, save for Slaughter’s own family (who all agree that it presents a clear image of their kin). His family are among the last few to see it until its unveiling, which is only three days away from intersecting with the man’s death. The D-Day Memorial, which stands in Bedford, is agreed by many to have been an unlikely development if not for Slaughter’s efforts in getting it made.

Slaughter wanted the D-Day Memorial so that civilians today would never forget the invasion. He had no ambitions of being remembered himself, though his perseverance both in the war and after make him a sensible choice for such a bust to be created. While it will be costly to install a new work to the site and keep it well-maintained, many have already donated to the cause. This means that the commemoration of Bob Slaughter can become as much a reality as the D-Day Memorial he fought so hard to create.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE