WWII veteran speaks after York parade
Saturday, Nov. 16, 2013

WWII veteran speaks after York parade

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/11/14/13/08/1kPorf.Em.138.jpeg|421
    World War II veteran Joe Williams spoke to the audience at a Veterans Day ceremony after the parade about his experiences during Operation Exercise Tiger and the invasions of Normandy.
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    Military veterans marched down Congress Street in York on Saturday as a part of the American Legion Post 66 annual Veteran’s Day parade.

American Legion Post 66 of York hosted its annual Veterans Day parade in York on Nov. 9.

Joe Williams, a World War II veteran and former member of the United States Coast Guard, was the featured speaker.

He talked about Operation Exercise Tiger.

Williams, 88, was drafted into the U.S. Army at the age of 18. He later chose to serve in the United States Coast Guard and participated in Operation Exercise Tiger and the invasion of Normandy.

Operation Exercise Tiger was a secret training exercise to prepare for the invasion of Normandy, France, during World War II.

Carroll Moore, member of Post 66 and an organizer of the event, said the government kept the operation secret until about 15 years after it occurred.

“Joe wants everybody to know how the government treated the people and the families,” Moore said. “They really kept it secret from everybody. Since then, no one paid attention to it.”

The parade covered two blocks of Congress Street and ended at the Whitesides Cleaners’ parking lot where a Veterans Day ceremony was held.

Veterans of World War II, Gold Star Mothers of York County, Purple Heart recipients of York County, Boy Scouts of America and the York Comprehensive High School band participated in the parade.

The ceremony was concluded with a benediction and a 21 musket salute performed by a revolutionary war group.

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