While remembering the veterans who risked it all on D-Day, it’s also important to pay tribute to those who treated them. The young nurses who also shipped away not knowing what they would be confronting. The Los Angeles Times spoke with one woman who served alongside her sister:
Former U.S. Army nurse Ellan Levitsky loved her service in a field hospital in Normandy just after the D-day landings, but will never forget the sound of young military men crying themselves to sleep.
Levitsky, 99, says hearing the wounded American “boys” being cared for at the 164th General Hospital on France’s Atlantic coast was traumatic.
Met the fabulous Ellan Levitsky in Normandy. A former US Army nurse, she is nearly 100 years old and still feisty and mischievous. I think the US military missed a trick not using her as a secret weapon. https://t.co/1T7JspzRoP
— Kim Willsher (@kimwillsher1) June 5, 2019
Levitsky and her sister often returned to Normandy over the years, but this year she returned for the first time without her sister, who passed in 2015, by her side. She said, “I’m happy to be here, but it’s bittersweet. My sister should be with me.” The words that really struck out to us though were these:
“In the U.S. nobody even looks at my medal. Here they come over and shake my hand and say thank you for being in Normandy… Like the other veterans we went home and got on with our lives. My sister and I were so close, but we never ever talked about it. None of the veterans talked about what they did. It was too painful, too much.”
We found an interview with both sisters done by the 21st Theater Sustainment Command. It was done 8 years ago, but it is worth watching as we mark the 75th anniversary of D-Day today.