Remembering D-Day, 68 years later

Many people forget, or never knew, that the war in Europe was virtually non-existent before June 6, 1944.  Until that time, the Nazi’s had successfully repulsed Allied efforts to bring the war to European soil.  The Nazis owned the land in Europe.  Sure, there were aerial bombing raids, spies, in-country resistance movements, etc., but that didn’t stop Nazi dominance.  What stopped it was good, old-fashioned boots-on-the-ground warfare — and that warfare began with the first wave on D-Day.

I have never, never, never been able to imagine the feelings of the men in the first wave, seasick, cold, wet, rushing into sure death.  My brain just doesn’t take me there.  All I know is that the free world owes these men, and the waves of them who followed them to such places as Bastogne and Berlin, their undying gratitude.

To each of those men, I can only say, I salute you, sir!

[Photo deleted, because it was a film shot -- I knew it was too well-framed to be true....]

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  1. FunkyPhD says

    Book:  Great post, and I agree with you about the debt we owe these incredibly brave men.  But the third picture down is from a film (either Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers), not an actual photograph from the day.  

  2. Beth says

    One of the best road trips we took while living in Europe–Omaha Beach.  Still has the big anti-landing thingys in the water, huge pits in the surrounding hills.  Let the kids run on the beach while we prayed a little, cried a little and toasted the fallen with a bottle of wine.  It was a heart-wrenching trip.  The cemeteries were so hard to fathom but it was an honor to walk among them.
    Gratitude isn’t enough.  We have to live the freedoms they died for; speaking out against the wrongs, to our neighbors and friends as well as elected officials. Emails, letters, phone calls, votes. 

  3. michal says

    my uncle, dad’s brother was in the 101st airborne.  He survived and served under Gen Mcauliffe, the one who told the Germans “nuts” when asked to surrender when they were surrounded.  He won a silver star for that one.
    My husband’s great uncle was a medic and died on the beach.

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