By John B. Lund, President and Chief Executive Officer
Last month marked the 75th anniversary of the World War II D-Day invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France. This historic event has always been of deep personal interest. As a young boy, I remember my father telling me about his brother, who at the age of 20 lost his life during the siege at Omaha Beach. I clearly sensed how much he missed his big brother, who was described as handy, someone who loved working on his cherished car, and always a joy to be around.
Back then, I knew little about wars or the concerns of the world, but I could tell my father wanted me to understand the precious nature of the United States and that the loss of his dearly loved brother wasn’t in vain. Dad later served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict and was very proud of fulfilling his duty to country.
In my July 2014 report, I wrote in some detail about D-Day, my uncle’s service and his ultimate sacrifice. Afterward, at the top of my bucket list was a visit to Normandy and the chance to gain a greater appreciation for what Uncle Winton and many thousands of veterans accomplished, not just for America, but for the world. The following summer, I was fortunate enough to see that wish come true when my wife and I, along with some close friends, journeyed to France. During our trip, I collected a bottle of sand from Normandy Beach. It now sits on a shelf at home and serves as a small but ongoing reminder of freedom’s true cost.
On the 4th of July, we as a country gather to celebrate our independence, the birth of our great nation, and the blessings we enjoy. Certainly, we have always faced and will always confront challenges and difficulties, but there is no other nation on earth that provides such opportunity. These patriotic remembrances are undertaken in the presence of the nation’s flag, which symbolizes the ideals for which every veteran fought, in the great wars of the past and in today’s conflicts. This is something I feel we can’t afford to forget and I hope that during our holiday activities, we will all pause to remember and give thanks to those who preserve our freedom.
In 2019, we’re also celebrating the 80th anniversary of America First. Much like the nation, our credit union was founded on principles of commitment, hard work, self-reliance and service. I’m proud of our legacy and that our mission continues to be delivering the products, services and information our members need to achieve financial well-being. On behalf of the volunteers and staff, it’s my privilege to express our appreciation for your membership and loyalty. We look forward to a lifelong relationship.