Coinciding with the 65th Anniversary of WWII, Heroes of Old Hickory takes us to the battle grounds where veterans share some of their most incredible experiences, as they retrace their footsteps across Europe. In the towns and villages, they meet generations of people who have never forgotten the brave 'Americans' who restored their freedom.
Heroes of Old Hickory is a story that has grown out of war and remains in the hearts and memories of Europeans who still, 65 years later, memorialize and celebrate these American soldiers.
Each year the town of Kerkrade, Holland, honors WWII veterans in a memorial celebrating its liberation in 1944. Kerkrade was the last Dutch town occupied by the German army.
At a nearby cemetery where more than eight thousand American soldiers lie, a young woman places flowers on a grave. She and her family are among thousands of European citizens who honor those fallen soldiers by adopting graves and caring for them to this day.
In Belgium, a group of school children gather around a large marble monument erected in honor of the American soldiers who liberated their village. They are learning about WWII and have come to meet an 'Old Hickory-man' who was wounded in the battle.
Hans Schillings, a native of Kerkrade, recalls the terrifying days of German occupation: 'We must remember those Americans who restored our freedom... we must preserve this story... the next generations must never forget.'
Scattered throughout Europe there are numerous monuments and memorials honoring the sacrifice of the American soldiers.
Just as great as their achievements in battle - is the goodwill these soldiers left behind. Perhaps this is Old Hickory's greatest legacy and one that continues to live on for generations.
The grateful memories of those who were saved along the route of Old Hickory blend well with the stories of the sacrifices and valor of its soldiers.
Join us for this uplifting and little known story, as Heroes of Old Hickory takes you back in time to share in their joys, their tragedies, and most vivid memories, as they are reunited with the people and the countries they freed 65 years ago.
After the war the 30th Infantry Division was recommended for the highest honor - the Presidential Unit Citation. This honor has been denied them for more that 60 years.