NEW YORK (AP) — The 75th anniversary of D-Day held special meaning for San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.
The son of an Army veteran who served during World War II, Bochy had an uncle who was part of the Allied invasion forces in Normandy on June 6, 1944.
“He was in the Army, he hit the beach that day. He survived,” Bochy said before Thursday’s game against the New York Mets.
The 64-year-old Bochy is among only a handful of major leaguers from France. He was born in the southern town of Landes de Bussac when his father, Army Sgt. Major Gus Bochy, was stationed there.
Bochy said his late dad was serving in the Pacific at the time of D-Day.
Bochy’s family moved from France when he was a toddler. After the 2007 season, Bochy and his wife went back to visit.
“She wanted to see Paris and see the sights, my priority was going to Normandy,” he said.
There, Bochy spent a day and half touring Omaha Beach and the other landing points for the Allied troops. He said he was overwhelmed by the rows of grave markers at the cemeteries, and thought about what his uncle had endured.
“It was probably the most moving experience of my life as far as travel,” he said.
The Mets honor a military member midway through every game at Citi Field, and they saluted two World War II veterans on Thursday — Army Pfc. Michael A. Vaccaro, who took part in the D-Day invasion, and airman Capt. Bentley Kassal.
Bochy faced the veterans from the dugout and heartily applauded when they were introduced.