On June 6, 1944, Operation Overlord, or D-Day as most remember it, was launched. 156,000 troops stormed the beaches at Normandy, one of the five beaches targeted as part of the coordinated attack by Allied troops. Of the total landing at Normandy, 73,000 were Americans. During that battle, 9,387 Americans gave their lives for freedom and were buried in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, the first American cemetery in Europe during World War II. Normandy Beach is hallowed ground for many families who lost loved ones on that day.
This year, as the world celebrates the 75th anniversary of the victories that occurred that day, Letters From Home will be part of the celebration, bringing their own special brand of American patriotism and pride in their USO-inspired, nostalgic show. The Letters from Home team consists of Erinn Dearth and Dan Beckmann who sing, tap dance, and interact with their audiences all over the country and during their international tours. As Erinn shared, “We pull in local entertainment to participate with us whenever possible. We have lots of surprises in every show – each one is different and unique to that audience. We especially enjoy our audience interaction, as does the entire audience. Our shows are reminiscent of the Bob Hope style of entertainment. Those USO shows were designed specifically for the troops. We do the same thing with many of our show designs – targeting the era when our veterans served. Our goal is to revive those feelings of patriotism; for the older generation, it’s important to be remembered, for the middle generation to gain a renewal of love for country, and for younger generations to get a sense of what our veterans gave up for our future.”
“I am out of this world excited to be part of this anniversary memorial in France,” explained Erinn. “We are thrilled to be joining 150 World War II veterans who will be there as well. For some of them, the trip may be bittersweet as it may be their last time to stand on the sands of Normandy Beach to remember and honor their fellow veterans.” Dan also reflected on how Letters From Home has impacted him. “Letters From Home has changed me. There was no military history in my family when I was growing up and not much emphasis on patriotism. Since becoming part of Letters From Home, the opportunities to uplift our veterans and get a glimpse of their sacrifices has enriched my life. I’m proud to be part of celebrating what American pride and patriotism are about.” Erinn and Dan share a common goal for their shows of ‘appreciating and focusing on the communities that make up our great country with emphasis on patriotism to help unite us as citizens to celebrate who we truly are and what we hold dear.’
Myra Miller of Footsteps Researchers attended a Letters From Home show in Cleveland and approached Erinn and Dan about participating in this ‘worldwide extravaganza’ in honor of this 75th Anniversary. Letters From Home will be part of the show on June 6 at 8:00 pm performing on Omaha Beach in Normandy, France. Among the songs Letters From Home will showcase, they are honored to be singing Taps and the United States national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. They will be at the Thunderbolt Festival in Auxais, France as part of the Following the Footsteps Tour.
The Patriot Flag will be unfurled at sunset. Visit their website (patriotflag.us.com) for more information on this organization. This flag, which is 28 x 60, has been on tour for over two years. The organization’s mission statement is to “Honor those who gave their lives for the Red, White, and Blue and respect the men and women on the job today willing to risk it all to preserve our freedom and keep us safe.”
For information on Letters from Home show schedule and more, visit their website (lettersfromhomesingers.com, the group’s email (LFH@firstflightentertainment.com), or Amy Turner (Amy@FirstInFlightEntertainment, 336.924.7028). Follow them on their Facebook page as well (lettersfromhomesingers).
Take a moment on June 6 to remember the heroes who fought on D-Day. Make plans to attend a Letters from Home show – it’s a memory that will bring a smile along with patriotic pride for what our country means to so many.