On June 6th, Graham Alvord, Harvard College 1937, represented the United States of America in a ceremony on Sword Beach in Normandy, France commemorating the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion. President Obama joined European political leaders and the British Royal Family in recognizing the nearly 156,000 British, American, and Candadian soldiers who crossed the English Channel on June 6th, 1944 to begin the invasion of France.
Graham Alvord graduated from Harvard College in 1937 and joined the U.S. Navy in 1941. He began his service as an intelligence officer, but after his brother, a Marine aviator, lost his life in the Battle of Midway, Graham volunteered for Ship Duty. On June 6th 1944, he was the executive officer of Landing Ship Tank (LST) #133 and made two successful landings on Omaha Beach before hitting a mine on his third trip. The explosion damaged the LST and killed 4 of his crew along with 11 British sailors. For his bravery during the D-Day invasion, Graham recently received the French Legion of Honor, one of France's oldest and most prestigious medals, in addition to the American Defense Medal, the American Campaign Medal, and the European African Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with one star for the invasion of Normandy.