Major Dick Winters, who led Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 2nd Battalion died on January 2, 2011 at 92. He was buried today at a private ceremony. Easy was part of the Airborne spearhead on D-Day. It campaigned in France, in the Low Countries as part of Operation Market Garden, helped stop the last Nazi counteroffensive in the Ardennes and was finally assigned to capture Berchtesgaden.
Winters saw himself less as an individual than as the public face of a generation that won the fight against totalitarianism. “Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ he was asked. “No but I served in a company of heroes.” With his death Winters becomes something else: the public face of a World War 2 generation that is rapidly passing away. His family had for some time asked the public to stop sending letters and books. “We feel it is time to retire and get some much needed peace and quiet in our golden years.” Now the quiet is his “where never lark, or ever eagle flew” and we are left to find our wings to follow, if we may.