Jim Martin is living life to the fullest and understands the deep connection that he has had for a lifetime with friends who served with him on D-Day, 1944. He jumped 70 years later on June 6, 2014, in honor of the 70th anniversary of D-Day, acknowledging that special connection he has had with others that have been so transformational and meaningful in his life.
Jim “Pee Wee” Martin acted like he’d been here before, like jumping from a plane is as easy as falling off a log. Maybe that’s because he had — 70 years ago. “I’m feeling fine,” Martin told reporters moments after landing in a French field. “… It was wonderful, absolutely wonderful.” Martin was part of the U.S. 101st Airborne Division that parachuted down over Utah Beach in their bid to retake France, and eventually, the rest of Europe, from Nazi Germany. They actually touched down in enemy-controlled territory the night before what’s now referred to as D-Day.
His jump on June 6 in the same area was different and despite his being 93 years old now, a whole lot easier. “It didn’t (compare),” Martin said, “because there wasn’t anybody shooting at me today.” Every year, every day it seems, the number of surviving World War II veterans like Martin dwindles. He estimates there are only a few dozen members of his unit who took part in the now historic D-Day invasion who are still around. Martin admitted that he was motivated by “a little bit of ego, (to show that) I’m 93 and I can still do it.”
“And also I just want to show all the people that you don’t have to sit and die just because you get old,” he added. “Keep doing things!”
I invite you to join me this Sunday in worship as we explore the importance of “Connections” in our own lives as we reflect upon faith stories of connection from Isaiah 5 and John 15.
I also invite you to join us in the garden on Sunday, July 6, from 10:30 – 11:15 am, as we celebrate the July 4th Weekend with lemonade, scrumptious cookies by Dayna, and a special gift for all Veterans in honor of their service. Our Lay Ministry Committee will be hosting this celebration.
See you Sunday.