Let's forever salute Greatest Generation who live among usThis week Newnan resident Gene Cook returned to Normandy on the 68th anniversary of D-Day, the June 6, 1944, amphibious assault on the shores of France that began the Allied advance leading to the end of World War II in Europe.
Cook was a “Screaming Eagle” with the 101st Airborne Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment who was dropped behind enemy lines in the first wave of the 1944 invasion.
Gene Cook is a decorated World War II hero who epitomizes the Greatest Generation which served our country and preserved our freedom more than 65 years ago.
Newnan and Coweta residents are quick to salute Cook and the remaining World War II veterans who live here in our community. In fact, after Alex McRae reported on Cook and his 2012 D-Day return to Normandy, some of our readers had glowing words about Cook:
“I would personally like to thank Mr. Cook for his bravery and courage in action which had a great impact on ending World War II,” said another reader. “It is a shame we don’t have politicians with the same background of bravery and courage.”
Said another reader, “I’ve met Gene on several occasions and have visited Normandy several years ago. Gene is a true hero and a fine example of the Greatest Generation ... the one that helped save the world and we should all be forever grateful.”
This newspaper has done many special projects through the years, but none have been better received than our 125-part series profiling Gene Cook and 124 other local men and women who served in World War II. We published the series of local written stories from November 2007 until November 2008. The stories were so popular we combined them into a hardback color book called “Coweta’s Greatest Generation.”
We have sold more than 300 copies of that book. We have additional copies for sale at The Newnan Times-Herald offices, 16 Jefferson St., Newnan. Cost is $42.95.
Since this series was printed in the newspaper and since the book has been available, some of the local heroes who were profiled in the book have passed away, but many are still living here in our community. We still have neighbors in our midst who were part of the Greatest Generation. We must forever salute them.