BRANSON, Mo. — A museum in the Ozarks holds a significant part of D-Day history.
Just outside of the Veterans Memorial Museum on the Branson Strip stands the 15 ton bronze 50-man statue. The much talked-about sculpture is themed “storming the beach”, a commemoration of the
Western Allies of World War II launching what’s been called the largest amphibious invasion in history, on the beaches of Normandy, France June 6, 1944.
The statue was sculpted from real life pictures that represent soldiers from each state.
“They were headed into a situation that they had no idea what they were going to see or do when the ramp dropped up front.,” Geoff Gardisky is Special Projects Manager said. “The valor, the courage that they had to storm a beach, not knowing what was going to happen was incredible.”
Gardisky says the owner of the Veterans Memorial Museum, Fred Hoppe Jr, sculpted the statue in honor of his dad, a World War II veteran, who survived two beach landings. He’s the soldier depicted at the front of the statue.