Date of death: MIA June 9 1944; Confirmed dead June 10, 1945
Rank: Hospital Apprentice, First Class
Awards: Purple Heart
as Kennedy's body was never recovered, he is not buried in any grave. His name is engraved on the Tablets of the Missing at the Normandy American Cemetery. This memorial, pictured right, is very similar to the more iconic Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. His name is one of 1,557 written on the tablets, alongside each hero's rank, military branch, and home state. It is located in the Garden of the Missing on the east side of the cemetery.
The Tablets of the Missing
Section of the Tablets of the Missing, with Kennedy's name circled
While many heroes are remembered for their deeds on the battlefield, the selfless men and women who worked behind the scenes should not be forgotten. Donald Wayne Kennedy did not take up arms and fight at any point during his military career. His actions would not make it into a war movie. Though many would consider his actions unremarkable, the soldiers and sailors who he tended to in the sick bay, whose lives he saved, would disagree. Kennedy was only 19 when he died. He was barely an adult. Less than a year before his death, he would have been playing basketball, tinkering with bikes, working his job at the airfield, or spending time at home with family. He died so that every one of us could be free. America will always be indebted to him, and to the many others like him who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of this country.