Over 20 actors from Band of Brothers, one of the most watched series in television history will gather in Normandy, France this June to recognize the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II and help raise money for the non-profit mission of the World War II Foundation. (http://www.wwiifoundation.org)
“We anticipate it will be the largest gathering of Band of Brothers actors since the 2002 Emmy Awards,” according to World War II Foundation Chairman Tim Gray.
“We held similar events in 2014 in Normandy with nine of the actors from Band of Brothers in recognition of the 70th anniversary of D-Day,” Gray said. “It was a great success for our foundation and the actors really enjoyed their time with their fans and meeting many of the actual D-Day veterans who also attended our gatherings.”
“We decided we would do one more event in 2015 and that’s when many of the other actors who couldn’t be in Normandy last June stepped up and said they also wanted to come. It’s become something really special,” Gray continued. “Some of the most familiar faces from the TV series will be joining us this June along with many D-Day veterans,” Gray said.
“In 2014, the actors, including Damian Lewis who played the lead role in the television series as Major Dick Winters, had their first real opportunity to explore the history of Normandy in World War II,” Gray said. “It was amazing to also watch the interaction between the actors and their fans who came from the United States and all of Europe.”
“The events surrounding the actors return in 2014 really helped bring awareness to our foundation and its time-critical mission of preserving the stories of the World War II generation,” Gray said.
“For many of the actors, portraying the actual soldiers from Easy Company, 506th PIR, 101st Airborne Division, was the pivotal moment of their careers. Those who were lucky enough formed close bonds with the men they played and remain close with those veterans who are still alive. They really became like family to the soldiers. The actors still get very emotional when speaking about the veterans and it’s been 14 years since the TV series debuted,” Gray said.
There are several events planned in 2015 in Normandy, including two major gatherings on the nights of June 5th (at the Overlord Museum at Omaha Beach) and June 6th (Utah Beach Museum). Each event will attract roughly 700-1,000 people.
The actors will also hold autograph signings at the Hotel Villa-Lara in Bayeux, Normandy on June 4th at 5PM and at the Utah Beach Museum at 11:30 AM on June 7th. There is a ten euro per person fee for autographs at both events and Band of Brothers Actors Reunion 2015 posters are also available for 20 euros, with all profits benefitting the 501(c)(3) WWII Foundation.
The actors will also lay a wreath at the Richard D. Winters Leadership Monument on the morning of June 7th. Winters was the commanding officer of E-Company for much of WWII.
All the events are open to the public and tickets for the two night events can be purchased at www.wwiifoundation.org
“This will be the last reunion we hold in Normandy for the actors,” Gray said. “It will be a great event like it was in 2014, just bigger and with many more actors. Their appearance really helps our foundation in so many ways.”
The World War II Foundation produces documentary films chronicling the personal stories of the World War II generation. To date, the WWII Foundation has produced 12 films, with seven more in post production. All the films are donated to American Public Television for national distribution to PBS affiliates. WWII Foundation films are also now airing in China, Australia, France, the United Kingdom and other countries.
In 2013, the World War II Foundation and its video production partner Tim Gray Media was awarded American Public Television’s National Programming Excellence Award.
In 2012, the WWII Foundation dedicated the Richard D. Winters Leadership monument near Utah Beach in Normandy. The 13′ high statue represents American leadership on D-Day by all junior officers. Americans Corps and Divisions who led the way on June 6,1944 are also noted on the monument.
For more information on actors attending, visit: www.wwiifoundation.org
All proceeds raised benefit the non-profit World War II Foundation and its mission of preserving the stories of the WWII generation.
You can get your tickets here: WWII Foundation
WarGaming.Net is the Presenting Sponsor of the 2015 Band of Brothers Actors Reunion in Normandy, France, along with War History Online: www.warhistoryonline.com