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Veterans Day breakfast returns at UW-La Crosse

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The annual Veterans Day breakfast is back after a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic. All veterans and a guest are invited to attend the breakfast Friday, Nov. 11, held by Freedom Honor Flight and UW-L Athletics Department.

Students will serve breakfast from 7:30-10 a.m. at the fieldhouse in Mitchell Hall. The morning will include a short program beginning at 8:45 a.m. with keynote speaker Jim Crigler, a former-Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam. The organizer of the new Vietnam Wall memorial in La Crosse, Jordan Briskey, will also say a few words.

Fifth-grade students from North Woods Elementary School will perform.

Free parking is available in Lot C2, across from Mitchell Hall, next to the stadium. No RSVP is required.

U.S. Navy Seaman 1st Class David Russell sought refuge below deck on the USS Oklahoma when Japanese bombs began falling on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. But a split-second decision changed his mind, and likely saved his life. "I thought, 'What am I doing down here?' I was trained to be an anti-aircraft loader," says Russell, now 101. "I went topside. By the time I went topside, the ship was almost ready to capsize." Russell plans to return to Pearl Harbor on Tuesday for a ceremony in remembrance of those who died. The event marks the 80th anniversary of the attack that launched the U.S. into World War II. The Oklahoma lost 429 sailors and Marines, the second greatest death toll that day after the USS Arizona's 1,177. Altogether more than 2,300 American troops were killed.

A military re-enactment parade filled the French Normandy town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise on the eve of the 78th D-Day anniversary. This was the first French village to be liberated from Nazi occupation. The people here have not forgotten their gratitude.

Several dozen World War II veterans are expected to attend D-Day commemoration ceremonies Monday in France, as crowds return for the 78th anniversary. Visits and services have for two years been reduced to a minimum due to COVID-19 restrictions.

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