Theodore Roosevelt Jnr statue
Location and info
One of the latest additions to the town of Sainte Mère Église is this statue of Theodore Roosevelt Jnr – son of President Theodore Roosevelt - who landed on nearby Utah Beach on D-Day June 6, 1944.
Appointed deputy division commander of the famous 4th Infantry Division – nicknamed Ivy after their IV in Roman numerals – he was the only US Army General to land with the first wave of troops, and the oldest allied soldier to land at the age of 56.
On the beach, Roosevelt was informed that his landing troops had been pushed off course and away from the causeways they needed to use to get inland. Instead of moving to their original assigned positions he opted to fight from the spot where they landed and is quoted as saying: “We’ll start the war from right here.”
He was originally recommended for the Distinguished Service Cross but was posthumously upgraded to the Medal of Honor for his acts of bravery in repeatedly leading groups of troops off the beach under heavy fire.
He kept his heart health issues a secret from army doctors and it was a heart attack on July 12, 1944, which killed him. He was initially buried in the makeshift cemetery in Sainte-Mère-Église - near to the location of his statue - before being moved to the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer where he rests today alongside his brother Quentin who was killed in the First World War.
The memorial here has been constructed over a number of years and is currently awaiting the completion of lights and plinths.