COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Rangers of "the Greatest Generation" will team up with their present day counterparts from Fort Benning at their national reunion in Columbus Oct. 17 through 21.
World War II Rangers, now in their late 80s and 90s, led allied invasions in Africa, Sicily, Italy and France. The 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions spearheaded the D-Day invasion, climbing the cliffs at Normandy and landing at Omaha Beach.
It was at Omaha Beach that the Ranger motto was coined as the commander urged the forces off the beach: "Rangers, lead the way!" The National Infantry Museum's signature Last 100 Yards ramp features a depiction of the ascension at Point du Hoc.
On Thursday, October 18, from 1:15 to 4 p.m., 19 WWII Army Rangers and one Ranger who served in Merrill's Marauders will compete in a shooting contest in the National Infantry Museum. Each will be paired with one of today's active duty Rangers as a shooting partner. The highest scoring three teams will be awarded prizes; however, organizers say all the shooters will share in the best prize: unforgettable memories. Afterward, they'll have dinner in the Fife and Drum restaurant.
Among the veterans attending are Sgt. Warren Burmaster, who was among the Rangers that climbed Point du Hoc on D-Day and Lt. Bob Edlin, who was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and is in the Ranger Hall of Fame. Both veteran and active duty Rangers will be available for interviews.