Kennewick native re-enacts D-Day ceremonies in Normandy

Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJune 22, 2014 

Ryan Anderson Normandy

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan D Anderson, right, who is a Kamiakin graduate, was one of twenty-five US Army Rangers from across the 75th Ranger Regiment selected to participate in the 70th Anniversary of D-Day ceremonies in Normandy, France.

PHOTO/SGT. 1ST CLASS MICHAEL R. NOGGLE

A Kennewick native recently re-enacted his regiment's activities 70 years ago in Normandy.

Sgt. 1st Class Ryan D. Anderson was one of 25 members of the Army's 75th Ranger Regiment to take part in the D-Day anniversary ceremonies. He returned last week to Fort Lewis after being in France for a week.

Their time there included attending ceremonies at Utah Beach and a parachute jump in front of 2,000 people at Sainte Marie du Monte.

"It was a great experience," he said. "It was the perfect day for a jump."

A moving part of the trip was a ceremony, attended by World War II veterans, at Pointe du Hoc, a 100-foot-high cliff that Rangers climbed to capture a German installation on June 6, 1944. Anderson said Rangers are taught about the history there shortly after they enlist.

The event was a learning experience, he said.

"To be able to see a lot of the history and the terrain and the situation they were dealt and how they had to react -- it was humbling to be there and be a part of the ceremony and be in the presence of those veterans," he said.

Anderson lived in Kennewick until the ninth grade, attending Kamiakin High School, said his grandfather, Charles Anderson. He then moved to Virginia to live with his father.

"I'm real proud of my grandson," said Charles Anderson, a retired teacher at Kamiakin. "He's done very well. It's what he's always wanted to do."

Ryan Anderson signed up for the Army as soon as he turned 18 and joined after graduating high school, his grandfather said.

Ryan Anderson, who oversees 45 Rangers as a platoon sergeant, comes from a family steeped in military tradition. His father was in the Army, while Charles Anderson was in the Air Force during the Vietnam War.

-- Geoff Folsom: 509-582-1543; gfolsom@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @GeoffFolsom

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