D-Day: The Allied Invasion of Normandy

June 6th marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, a major turning point in World War II that helped lead to the defeat of the Nazis in Europe. On this day, more than 150,000 American, British and Canadian troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. It is a special day of remembrance for my family, as my Grandfather, Albert F. Iorillo, a member of the Army’s 90th Division and 359th Infantry, fought during the invasion on Utah Beach. At age nineteen, despite working to help support his widowed mother, my Grandfather enlisted in the Army and spent two years fighting in the European theater, in D-Day, in the Battle of the Bulge, and throughout campaigns in France, Germany and Czechoslovakia. He earned two Bronze Stars for heroism, including carrying wounded soldiers through enemy fire. When I read about the 90th Division, and the thousands of men who were wounded or killed on D-Day, I am incredibly humbled and grateful that my Grandfather survived.

As I pour through family photographs, newspaper clippings and mementos, I am reminded that my family history inspired my love of vintage fashion and decorating with antiques. Family photographs are a huge part of my home decor, so I used a silver metal bamboo frame by Lawrence Frames for my Grandfather’s portrait. For displaying military medals and more complex artifacts, I usually go for professional framing at a local shop or at my local Michael’s.

I’m still trying to decide how to frame the Western Union telegram that my Grandfather sent to my Grandmother while at bootcamp, asking her to meet him at Penn Station in New York City before he shipped out to Europe. I cannot imagine what that meeting at Penn Station was like, not knowing whether it would be the last time they would ever see each other.


The nautical dress and enamel bracelets I am wearing are all vintage, but Scully & Scully has some gorgeous enamel bangles in red, ivory, black and orange, finished with 18 karat gold rims. For nautical dresses, I love Sailor Sailor, a nautical fashion brand that is made entirely in the United States. Now that I live in Florida, boat shoes have become a fashionable and comfortable staple. My Brooks Brothers boat shoes are from last season, but I also love Brooks Brothers’ red leather driving moccasins.

My Grandfather passed away before I was born. Someday, we will be reunited and I will be able to thank him. Until then, I honor his heroism and the bravery and ultimate sacrifice of so many others on D-Day. For more information on D-Day check out the History Channel.

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Alison Hetherington

For the modern girl who loves everything vintage.

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