standing Westerly Library

Thursday, June 6, is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. On that day, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy. I’ve mentioned my France trip in a previous column talking about Monet’s gardens and such. On that trip I also had the opportunity to spend a day on France’s Normandy coast. It was an incredibly moving journey, particularly visiting the landing beaches. It seems impossible that the horrors of war took place in such quiet towns and on what is now a beautiful seacoast.

There are several new books that have come out this year for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. “Normandy ’44: D-Day and the Epic 77-Day Battle for France” by James Holland is a brand new book that will be available at the library. “The First Wave: The D-Day Warriors Who Led the Way to Victory in World War II” by Alex Kershaw follows the remarkable men who carried out D-Day’s most dangerous missions.

DVDs worth checking out if you haven’t already include “Band of Brothers,” which follows Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division throughout the war but begins with them in the early hours of the invasion. Of course, there is the classic “The Longest Day,” which has an all-star cast including Richard Burton, Sean Connery, Sal Mineo, and John Wayne. A documentary that is absolutely worth watching is “Day of Days June 6, 1944: American Soldiers Remember D-Day” which was produced for the 70th anniversary in 2014. It’s amazing to hear the experiences of these men, many of whom were teenagers when they were called to risk their lives for freedom.

The magnitude of the mission (air, sea, and land) is almost impossible to imagine. The sacrifice is even more unfathomable. On the 40th anniversary of D-Day in 1984, President Ronald Reagan, who was unveiling a monument to the U.S. Army Ranger battalions, said “These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.” Given that it is the 75th anniversary, it is an important moment to reflect on this momentous event in world history.

Top requested movies

1. “Green Book”

2. “Outlander, Season 4”

3. “On the Basis of Sex”

4. “Mary Poppins Returns”

5. “Vice”

6. “The Mule”

7. “The Upside”

8. “Isn’t it Romantic?”

9. “Aquaman”

10. “Cold Pursuit”

Top requested books

1. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

2. “The 18th Abduction” by James Patterson

3. “Redemption” by David Baldacci

4. “Run Away” by Harlan Coben

5. “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover

6. “Someone Knows” by Lisa Scottoline

7. “Becoming” by Michelle Obama

8. “Summer of ‘69” by Elin Hilderbrand

9. “Neon Prey” by John Sandford

10. “The Silent Patient” by Alex Michaelides

This week

MONDAY — 10 a.m.-12 p.m., Photography in the Park – learn to take better photographs, with Wilcox Park as your backdrop! 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Homework Help/Tutoring (for grades K-8) – homework help in individual subjects, done by teens.

TUESDAY — 3:30-5 p.m., Teen Space Garden Club –help plan our garden and earn community service hours! 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit and Crochet Group! – a friendly knitting, crochet, needlework, and yarn craft club; 6-6:45 p.m., Demystifying Meditation –Join Chris Liguori, a Davidji certified meditation teacher to practice awareness and discuss mindful living. All are welcome; 6-7:45 p.m., Sewing Social – amateur or experienced sewers are welcome! 6-7:30 p.m., Renaissance Toastmasters – meets twice a month to share stories and get comfortable speaking in front of an audience.

WEDNESDAY — 2-3:30 p.m., Film Club – We will discuss three movies we selected last month and choose three to watch for our July meeting; 4-5:30 p.m., Swampabots Practice – ages 9-12, kids practice building and coding with lego robots; 5:30-7 p.m., Conversation Class – for English Language Learners; 5-7:30 p.m., Hoxie Gallery Art Opening! – Linda Peduzzi and Diane Brown both exhibit their paintings this month.

THURSDAY — 10-11:30 a.m., Conversation Class – A free class for English Language Learners; 3:30-5:30 p.m., Teen Anime Club – You choose the movie, we provide the snacks! 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome, no sign-up required.

FRIDAY — 4:00-5:30 p.m., Teen Volunteer Appreciation; 4-5:30 p.m., Teen Involvement (formerly Teen Advisory Board) – Pitch new program ideas, suggest new additions to our collection, and earn volunteer hours while you do so; 4-5:45 p.m., Shoreline Robotics Practice – For teens interested in STEM and Robotics.

SATURDAY — 9 a.m.-12 p.m., URI Master Gardener Kiosk – Get research-based answers to all of your gardening questions! 10-11:30 a.m., Champion Tree Tour of Wilcox Park – Wilcox Park is home to 28 trees in the R.I. Big Tree Registry - more than any other place in the state! Learn how a tree gets into the Registry, and meet the Champions and other Big Trees in the Park; 10:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Adult Writers Workshop – A group-led prose writing workshop; 1-2:30 p.m., Dungeons and Dragons (Teen Led Program) – No prior experience with the game is necessary—registration is required

Caroline Badowski is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.

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