Sandpoint students send wreaths to France in honor of D-Day



Posted on June 6, 2014 at 4:43 PM

Updated Friday, Jun 6 at 6:54 PM

SANDPOINT, Idaho.--Sandpoint High School students created wreaths and sent them over to students in France. It was their way of remembering the 70th anniversary of D-Day in a unique way. 

On Friday, the students in France placed one of the wreaths on the grave of a North Idaho veteran who died storming Omaha Beach. The students felt strongly about honoring veterans and keeping their memories alive.

READ: Spokane native recalls storming the beaches of Normandy
"Everybody knows him, so we thought it would be great to honor him,” said Sandpoint High School senior Madie Slayton-Sanford.

 "He stormed Omaha beach on D-Day,” said Sandpoint High School senior Edward Pilkyington.

Frank Bradetich, 19, of Sagle, Idaho lost his life on June 6, 1944 when he stormed Omaha Beach. The students of Sandpoint High School’s Honor Flight club wanted to pay tribute to him in a special way.

"I feel like it's a way to give back to the community. They fought for our freedom and people are forgetting them now,” said Sandpoint High School junior Maria Hendereson.

PHOTOS: D-Day then, same spot now

The club’s advisor, John Nitcy, came up with an idea to help the students honor the veterans. He had met a history teacher from France that was giving a presentation at a museum in Sagle. Nitcy then came up with an idea of giving her wreaths made by his students. He asked that her students place the wreaths on Bradetich’s grave in France

"It's kind of amazing, because you don't see the whole world connecting on something like that. There's cultural differences, but the fact that we're honoring the same person is really amazing,” said Pilkyington.

The French class planned to lay another wreath made by the Sandpoint students on the beaches of Normandy on Monday.