French Lady Honors an Oklahoman Buried at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France because he helped to free her country from Nazi Germany.

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Real Estate Agent with Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 141871

French Lady Honors an Oklahoman Buried at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France because he helped to free her country from Nazi Germany.

 

This Memorial Day - Connecting an Oklahoman Buried at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France To a Lady That Honors His Grave Annually For The Last 18 Years. Memorial Day is a United States National Holiday observed on the last Monday in May.  This year that will be May 30th.  On this day we honor those those U.S. soldiers who died while in the military service for the United States of America. 

In France, there is a lady named Cathrine Meunier, who will buy a bouquet of flowers and place them on the grave of Wilburn R. Harkins.
  Wilburn was a Native American of the Choctaw Tribe, born in Swink, Oklahoma, who died in 1944 during the Allied invasion of Normandy, World War II, 5000 miles away from that small town of Swink, Oklahoma, and is buried in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer, France.

This Memorial Day - Connecting an Oklahoman Buried at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France To a Lady That Honors His Grave Annually For The Last 18 Years. Catherine Meunier does this every memorial day.  She's been doing it for 18 years to say "Thank You" to this man that died while fighting to free her country from Nazi Germany.  According to the Daily Oklahoman, "Meunier is trying to find any living relatives who can tell her about the man she has come to regard as part of her family."

Cathrine is part of the group, Flowers of Memory.  Flowers of Memory puts flowers on the graves of soldiers, who left their home and families to fight for the freedom of France.  She wants to know more about Wilburn R Harkins.  He has become a part of her life.  The white cross on his grave in the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France, simply gives his rank as tech sergeant, his unit as the 23rd Infantry Div, and his home state as Oklahoma, along with his date of death being July 26, 1944. 

The article in the Daily Oklahoman sums of the information known about Harkins as:

  • Father - Silas G. Harkins of Hugo, Oklahoma. 
  • Wife - Edith
  • Member of the Choctaw Nation.
  • Enlisted in the army in 1940.
  • Died in July 1944.


If you are related to
This Memorial Day - Connecting an Oklahoman Buried at the Normandy American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur-Mer, France To a Lady That Honors His Grave Annually For The Last 18 Years. Wilburn R. Harkins, you might want to contact Robert Stuard, president of the Lacey-Davis Foundation.  The Lacey Davis Foundation works with ANSA (Association Normande du Souvenir Aerien 1939-1945) Normandy Association for Air of Europe during WWII.  These are French citizens sanctioned by the French government to locate and preserve WWII relics.    The Lacey Davis Foundation works with European organizations to repatriate these artifacts to the American families of fallen U.S. soldiers and pilots.  According to their website:

"Our Mission
Working with organizations in Europe, the Lacey-Davis Foundation locates descendants of veterans killed during WWII in order to give their families the opportunity to visit the memorials marking the ultimate sacrifice of their heroic family member.
The service records and accomplishments of individual veterans are the focus of this effort.

The Lacey-Davis Foundation seeks to provide and maintain a record that will transcend their living relatives and become a permanent, accessible archive for future generations."


The American Battle Monuments Commission has a great interactive program online where you follow the Normandy Campaign from D-Day through the Liberation of Paris. To access this interactive program, click here.

Thank you to two Flickr users:

Images courtesy of:
Baston
Zevillage

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  1. Don Barrett 05/06/2011 02:56 PM
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31 Days of May Challenge 2011
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Rainmaker
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Sharon & Bruce Walter
Keller Williams Realty Lafayette, IN - Lafayette, IN
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Judi, this is a wonderful post and I sure hope someone sees this who knows a relative, friend, or fellow army buddy who can share information on Sgt. Harkins.  God bless Cathrine Meunier for not forgetting the incredible sacrifice that tens of thousands of Americans made who died or were  wounded in liberating France in 1944. 

May 06, 2011 12:31 AM #3
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1 ~Judi & Don Barrett & Chassy Eastep - Integrity
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
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Sharon and Bruce,

Thank you for reading and commenting.  I am hopeful. I admin the Choctaw County Facebook Fan Page and I wanted to do the post so I could link it there and maybe some of his relatives are on that page.

May 06, 2011 12:44 AM #4
Rainer
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John Howard
Century 21 LeMac Realty - Mountain Home, AR
GRI, Mountain Home, Arkansas 870-404-3614

Judi,  A great Post!  Heartwarming for sure.  It is so easy to overlook things like this.  Thank You for sharing this with us.  I hope you do get to connect with more of the family.

May 07, 2011 01:17 AM #5
Rainmaker
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Christine Smith
Buyers Brokers Only LLC - www.BuyersBrokersOnly.com - Canton, MA
Exclusive Buyer Agent & Attorney, Canton, MA

Judy....that is a great story!  I wonder how many more Catherines are out there doing this for the WWII fallen heros?

May 07, 2011 01:19 AM #6
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Karin Lundeen
Keller Williams Realty - Denver Southlands - Centennial, CO
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Great idea to do this post to get the word out and mybe the right person will read it and a connection will be made!

May 07, 2011 01:30 AM #7
Rainmaker
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Bob "RealMan" Timm
Tivoli Custom Homes - Minot, ND
Bob Timm, Project Coordinator for Tivoli Homes

Great post Judy. I agree with all above but I wish to say that it's a shame that not ALL Americans honor our military as the LIBERATORS that they are. Thank God that many people around the world recognize our men and women in the US Military are Hero's.

May 07, 2011 01:41 AM #8
Rainmaker
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Rob Thomas
Prestige Homes of The Tri Cities, Inc. CALL....423-341-6954 - Bristol, TN
Bristol TN-VA & Tri Cities Agent, ABR, GRI, e-Pro

Judi.....This is a really good post....I think a lot of people take this day for granted.....Nice job! Thanks!
Hope you have a great day!!---Rob

May 07, 2011 01:45 AM #9
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Mike Jones
SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) - Tucson, AZ
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Judi,

Today, you are my favorite blogger!  Really cool post.

Mike in Tucson

May 07, 2011 02:18 PM #10
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Lou Ludwig
Ludwig & Associates - Boca Raton, FL
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Judi

Thanks for sharing a very moving and interesting story.

Good luck and success.

Lou Ludwig

May 07, 2011 02:33 PM #11
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Sharon Alters
Coldwell Banker Vanguard Realty - 904-673-2308 - Fleming Island, FL
Realtor - Homes for Sale Fleming Island FL

Judi, this is a very touching story and reminds us that there are many people in France who still do remember the huge sacrifice our young men paid in WWII to free their country from the German occupation.

Sharon

May 07, 2011 03:19 PM #12
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J. Philip Faranda
J. Philip Faranda (J. Philip R.E. LLC) Westchester County NY - Briarcliff Manor, NY
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Thanks for this Judy. I have a second cousin, Tom Faranda, who died on D-Day. My oldest brother is named for him. 

May 10, 2011 01:31 PM #13
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