GLENN WARD, JANUARY 30, 1945:
From Rhinelander Wisconsin to Lanzerath Belgium
Lanzerath, a tiny corner of Belgium, right on the German border, a mile from the Siegfried Line.
Glenn Ward and his comrades of 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment attacked the village with the objective of driving the enemy behind the Siegfried Line. Lanzerath has seen soldiers in both World Wars. The village is on historical attack route for German Armies on any westward attacks.
The German focus, the first day of the Battle of the Bulge, is on capturing Lanzerath and vicinity. The focus of the US paratroopers, on what turned out to be the last day of the Battle of the Bulge before entering German territory, is on recapturing the village.
Cross country, in wintry conditions, uphill and under adverse conditions, Glenn and his comrades, combat ready and battle tested since D-Day 1944, took the village. Brave men lost their lives. Men who were and will forever be members of the Great Generation. They had lived through the Depression years, they took the challenge of fighting an enemy which threatened freedom, liberty on the European Continent and worldwide. These men came from so far away, they liberated Europe and they will forever be close to our hearts.
On a windy, cold January 30, but many years after Glenn made his Final Mile on his Odyssey for Freedom to Lanzerath, his daughter Judy, her son and members of his family gathered for a ceremony in the field, which since that day is known locally as Glennís Field. Glennís Field being close to the Regimental monument for Glenn and his comrades. Since that January 1945 day, Lanzerath has been a free, a liberated and peaceful community. Because there were men like Glenn and his comrades who stood up for freedom, peace and liberty.
During Judyís visit to Lanzerath, Glenn was inducted in the Gallery of the Giants, out of respect for his contribution in making this world into a better place for all of us, later generations. In the Gallery of the Giants Glenn is among comrades, many of whom made their Final Mile in the Battle of the Bulge.
Glenn will be honored and remembered forever by all those who pass at Glennís Field and the Regimental Monument. They have Glenn and his comrades in their hearts, forever.
Glenn and his comrades gave all of us a perspective on a better world; the latter starting in a tiny little village Lanzerath in Belgium, January 30, 1945.
They came from faraway. Glenn came from Rhinelander Wisconsin. He made his final mile at Lanzerath. They all deserve our respect, now and forever.
Friends of the Ward Family:
C-47 Club Ardennes Salm River Chapter Lanzerath Monument
Eddy Lamberti (Pres.) Marcel Vaessen
Claude Orban (Treasurer)
Erik van der Hoeven (Hist.)