Today is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, when U.S. forces hit the beaches of Normandy in northern France and helped change the course of World War II and modern history.
Lakeland's Chase Science Center is name for Lucius P. Chase, a longtime member of the college's board of trustees and a man who played a significant role in D-Day history. An officer in the U.S. Army, Chase was a member of General Dwight Eisenhower's staff that helped plan the Normandy invasion.
Chase was a member of the Sixth Engineer Special Assault Brigade that landed at Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, and when his commanding officer was wounded, Chase, despite also being wounded, took command of the brigade, which helped clear the beach and build roads for military traffic. Chase was awarded numerous medals including the Silver Star, the Legion of Merit and the Purple Heart.
We pause today to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice on those beaches that day to fight for freedom.