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Memorial Day Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

30 May 2022

We told Freddie Bacigalupi's story on Memorial Day in 2017. Since then, only two people remain who knew him when he was alive.

Jack, his 86-year-old nephew, and Mom, his 95-year-old cousin, were just little kids who looked up to the Poly High basketball star who gave them his nickels to go to the movies.

He was killed near Saint-Lô on July 17, 1944.

Just a few days ago, Jack was watching the History channel, which was broadcasting The Battle of Normandy; 85 Days in Hell, a Smithsonian documentary on the Normandy invasion during which Freddie lost his life.

In some footage from Chevroux, which the Allies had just taken and was only days before the push to Saint-Lô, the documentary showed a clip of couple of happy U.S. soldiers celebrating the victory. On the left was Freddie.

Jack took a smartphone photo of the image on his TV and emailed it to us. We used Adobe Camera Raw to straighten the perspective and remove some optical distortion before returning the favor.

But we wanted to see the clip for ourselves so we hunted it down on YouTube, saved it to disk and clipped it out with LosslessCut to send to Mom.

And there he was 68 years later, laughing with a cigarette hanging from his lips, the Freddie she adored as a child.

She was only sad that no one was left who knew him but her and Jack to see it.

But, as Memorial Day reminds us, you only have to know his story to never forget someone like Freddie Bacigalupi.

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