Login

Normandy Cemetery links Living Memorial

Living Memorial ... Mark Coyle, nephew to Sergeant Philip A. Colvin, and classmate Suzan Berry reminisce over school times and Berry’s recent trip to France, especially Normandy, where Colvin is buried as a Veteran of WW II.

Philip A. Colvin is one of the fallen Veterans whose markers are in the Living Memorial near the Philip American Legion.

Colvin's actual grave site in the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France was recently visited by Suzan Berry. While on a tour of France by Douglas High School foreign language students, Berry and her daughter, Bailey, spent an allotted afternoon at the historic site.

The cemetery, established by the United States First Army on June 8, 1944, was the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The site covers over 172 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 American military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. The memorial is within site of infamous Omaha Beach.

While Bailey elected to spend her few free post-tour moments at the chapel, Suzan searched for any South Dakota markers. The first and only one she found was Colvin's. She was amazed that, of all the markers, that one was so easily come across.

Philip was the older brother of Corrine, Florence and John Colvin. Florence is the mother of Mark Coyle. Berry and Coyle had been classmates from kindergarten through graduation in the Philip school system. Berry is the daughter of Greg and Dorothy Weber. Greg is one of the board members of the Living Memorial.