ShareThis Page
Service honors ‘Band of Brothers’ leader Dick Winters |

Service honors ‘Band of Brothers’ leader Dick Winters

The Associated Press
| Monday, March 21, 2011 12:00 a.m

HERSHEY — Comrades, friends and admirers of Maj. Richard “Dick” Winters gathered during the weekend for a public memorial service to honor the man whose quiet leadership was chronicled in the book and television miniseries “Band of Brothers.”

As Winters’ wife, Ethel, looked on from the Hershey Theater balcony on Saturday, participants heard music, Bible verses and personal remembrances that she and her late husband personally selected more than two years ago.

Master of ceremonies and family friend Col. Cole Kingseed began by asking all military veterans to rise. Nearly half of the 1,900-seat theater stood, including several surviving members of Easy Company, as the audience thundered its applause.

Those paying tribute to Winters included officers in dress uniforms, young West Point cadets and white-haired Korean and Vietnam War veterans sporting company emblems embroidered on baseball caps. The Patriot-News of Harrisburg reported that former governor and Vietnam War veteran Tom Ridge quietly slipped in and out of the service.

The crowd also included actor Tom Hanks, who co-produced the 2001 HBO miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose’s 1992 book. Hanks spoke after the service about Winters’ steely stare.

“That look could pierce a tank,” Hanks said. “He was a complicated, magnificent human being.”

Winters became the leader of Company E, 506th Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, on D-Day after the death of the company commander during the invasion of Normandy. During that invasion, Winters led 13 of his men in destroying an enemy battery and obtained a detailed map of German defenses along Utah Beach.

In September 1944, he led 20 men in a successful attack on a German force of 200 soldiers. Occupying the Bastogne area of Belgium at the time of the Battle of the Bulge, he and his men held their place until the Third Army broke through enemy lines.

The service honored not only Winters’ World War II exploits but his life as a person, friend, local businessman and member of his central Pennsylvania community.

After Winters returned home, he married Ethel in May 1948, trained infantry and Army Ranger units at Fort Dix, N.J., during the Korean War, started a company selling livestock feed to farmers, and eventually settled in a farmhouse in Hershey, where he later retired.

Categories: News
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.