ATLANTA (AP) — A World War II veteran from Alabama is headed to France for D-Day ceremonies — a trip that seemed unlikely just last week.
Sherwin Callander read about ceremonies for the 70th anniversary of D-Day and thought it would be meaningful to go. He hadn’t been back to France since landing on Utah Beach during the Battle of Normandy, but he hit a snag when he went to get a passport.
Callander was born in Canada to an American mother, and his family moved to the U.S. when he was 3. But he didn’t have documentation proving his U.S. citizenship.
Federal officials heard his story and on Monday gave him a proof of citizenship certificate so he could get a passport in time to leave for France just hours later.
Callander’s family set up a GoFundMe.com page to raise money for the trip, exceeding their goal by 100% in twelve days.
They have also set up a Facebook page for the public to follow his trip.
This is Sherwin Callander. He was born in 1920 and served in WWII, was stationed at Pearl Harbor when it was attacked (but was thankfully 1 day out of port on his way in on December 7th, 1941). He also served in Africa, Italy, and other places, including Utah Beach in France.
He was contacted on May 15th about going to the 70th anniversary ceremonies at Normandy in early June.
He has no passport, but we are working on that and have help from our elected officials to get that done in 2 days. But France backed out of their original offer to pay for the vets to fly over! He is supposed to have accommodations and transportation while in country covered, though those details are still not clear either.
He has asked me to go along with him as his attendant! What an opportunity, eh??
Well, he doesn’t have the funds to fly over, and with other unknowns, I figured we could ask for help here to get him to Normandy!!