April Cheek-Messier

CEO of The National D-Day Memorial Foundation On The Upcoming 80th Anniversary

In this week’s episode, Marcus and Melanie are honored to host April Cheek-Messier, a key figure in preserving the legacy and lessons of one of the most pivotal moments in history: D-Day.
April is the President of the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, an organization dedicated to upholding the memory of the Allied Forces’ valor, fidelity, and sacrifice on June 6, 1944. As the President of the Foundation, she plays a critical role in ensuring the integrity and security of the National D-Day Memorial while advancing its educational mission.
During our conversation, April sheds light on the Foundation’s multifaceted approach to fulfilling its mission. We delve into how the Foundation maintains and operates the National D-Day Memorial, providing a solemn and educational space for visitors to honor and learn about the events of D-Day.
Through various programs, projects, and exhibitions, the Foundation strives to cultivate an appreciation for the historical and residual significance of D-Day.
Join Marcus and Melanie us as we gain insights into the tireless work of April Cheek-Messier and the National D-Day Memorial Foundation in preserving the legacy of D-Day and ensuring that future generations understand the profound impact of this historic event.

In this episode you will hear:
• I grew up in Bedford, Virginia, which was a community impacted heavily by World War II. (3:50)
• Bedford sustained the highest per capita loss on D-Day.  (4:28)
• 16 million served in World War II, and we have less than 1% living today. (7:32)
• Like so many veterans, they didn’t talk about it. They tried to forget about it. (10:47)
• It became [Bob Slaughter’s] goal to make sure there was something to commemorate those who gave their life on D-Day. (11:48)
• In 1996, congress decided there should be a National D-Day Memorial. (12:45)
• We are not federally funded. It was a grass roots efforts by veterans. (13:03)
• What joy it brought Bob Slaughter and his veteran friends to know that they did it. (13:46)
• Over 400,000 families during World War II lost a loved one. (17:16)
• There were 3 sets of brothers who served on D-Day. (18:41)
• It’s when you’re able to tell the individual stories that young people can understand the tragedy of war and what was accomplished that day was so very critical. (24:29)
• Believe it or not, there was nowhere – not even in Normandy – a list of who died on June 6, 1944. (25:21)
• The more we can work together to make sure these stories are told is incredibly important. (32:23)
• D-Day was critical. It was going to be the turning point of the war in Western Europe. It was Operation Overlord, which was to invade German-occupied France. (33:25)
• The consequences were dire. This had to happen. They had to succeed. (35:56)
• 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft, just on D-Day alone. 160,000 troops and over 150,000 landing on June 6th alone. (36:50)

Recent Episodes

April Cheek-Messier

CEO of The National D-Day Memorial Foundation On The Upcoming 80th Anniversary
Listen to Episode →

Chris Caracci

Original SEAL Team 6, Undercover Narcotics, SWAT Operations, Stories Of MOH Heroes At War (pt2)
Listen to Episode →

Chris Caracci

Original SEAL Team 6, Undercover Narcotics, SWAT Operations, Stories Of MOH Heroes At War
Listen to Episode →