World War II Army veteran will give keynote speech at Veterans Park today
Robert “Boots” Chouinard, a 99-year-old Army veteran who fought in Germany during World War II, is the keynote speaker for today’s Veterans Day ceremony at Veterans Park. Chouinard, a Salisbury resident, landed in Normandy on Omaha Beach in France five days after D-Day. His address is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Earlier this year, he was with a group of soldiers who got to return to Germany to retrace their steps during the war. During Easter Sunday of 1945, he got to attend an Easter Service in a church near Oppenheim.
“This emotion was overwhelming, a feeling that I never felt before,” Chouinard recalled of this surreal scene. “Here we are together worshiping the same God while fighting a war. After the service we quietly left the church with nothing being said, got on the truck, crossed the Rhine back to our gun position, like nothing unusual happened.”