“So the men we are celebrating today and commemorating those dead are the people who not only liberated Europe but made possible the freedoms we all enjoy today” ~Gordon Brown
Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day when American, British and Candian allied forces landed on a 50 mile stretch of beaches in the Normandy of France in an invasion that changed the world.
I am very proud to say that my father was among the over 160,000 allied troops. Courageous and heroic soldiers who stormed those beaches to fight Hitler’s Nazi Germany changing the course of history and saving the world.
My dad was in the second wave of Americans. He lost many friends and there was extensive damage to their equipment but they perservered and the division went on to receive several awards for their perfromance during the invasion, he recieved a special D-Day medal.
My dad shared many stories about the time he served. One that stands out about D-Day is when a friend and fellow soldier looked at all the allies lying dead on the beach then turned to my father and said, “look, they’re all sleeping.” The gravity of this tramatic event took such a toll on this young man that he lost it and went into complete denial of the reality.
“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world…
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely. I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory! Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking” ~Dwight D. Eisenhower