Dick Winters, the Army commander whose heroism during World War II was immortalized in the book and television miniseries "Band of Brothers," died last week in central Pennsylvania. He was 92.
An intensely private man, Winters had instructed loved ones not to release news of his death until after his funeral. He died on Jan. 2 from complications of Parkinson’s disease, his family said.
The story of Winters and other members of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, known as Easy Company, was chronicled in a book by Stephen Ambrose and later the 10-part miniseries on HBO.
English actor Damian Lewis portrayed Winters as a strong, humble leader who guided his men through the European theater of the war after parachuting into Normandy on D-Day.
Winters also led his men through a grueling wintertime standoff during the Battle of the Bulge and was eventually promoted to the rank of major.
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I have been a admirer of Dick Winters for over ten years. Ever since the first time I saw him interviewed and watched his portrayal in the HBO series Band of Brothers. America does not produce men like these often, but it seems that when we most need them, they always appear and take up their rifles and answer the call.
They disappear into the misery and death of wars where we send them and a few are lucky enough to return in one piece, but never as the men that they once were.
Dick Winters was such a man in my opinion. A man that recognized duty, honor, leadership and all the other intangibles that make up the commitment of character that is the American soldier. The patriot who stands in the breach and bears up under withering fire, when lesser men wail and run for cover. Dick Winters knew of such men, he never served with them. As he often remarked through the years, he served in the company of heroes. Although he never considered himself a hero. We are losing 1500 of of these men each day in America. They are passing away and their lives and their stories and their sacrifices for this nation are passing with them. Soon they will be no more.
Dick Winters wasn't a great man. Dick Winters was an ordinary man who did great things. And for that this nation should honor and remember him. We should honor and remember all of those who have served this nation and continue to serve this nation. Like those of Easy Company, 506th parachute regiment, 101st Airborne.They were and always will remain, a band of brothers and a band of American heroes.
God give rest to the soul of Dick Winters and lift him up to the eternal peace and rest that he so richly deserves. Allow him to serve as an example to those who are searching for the qualities of life that endure. The qualities that make the character of a good and faithful human being and a humble man like Dick Winters. My final salute to you Major Winters, but not my final farewell. I look forward to one day meeting you when the final roll is called. Semper Fi friend. Although I never knew you personally, I felt as if I had known you all my life.
I will always remember.......