Wednesday, June 06, 2007

heroes all

Today marks the 63rd anniversary of the launch of the Allied force's invasion of continental Europe, starting with German-occupied Normandy. The invasion of Normandy was dubbed Operation Overlord, but it is remembered as D-Day. On that single day there were more casualties than we have suffered in the entire War on Terror. Then, as now, heroes gave their all for all of us, and for people across an ocean they did not know. Let us not forget.
Last year, I wrote an article about D-Day. I link to it here, but I also want to quote a part of that post:

Then that fateful day of June 5th (that's right, June 5th) the day that was designated for the invasion, weather caused great concern. The leaders, and ultimately Gen. Eisenhower decided to hold off for a day, in hopes of more favorable weather. June 6th came and while the weather was not perfect, a window of opportunity arose and Gen. Eisenhower gave the order- "Ok, we go." On those words an invasion involving over 150,000 men and 5000 naval craft, numerous aircraft began. Some landing boats were blown out of the water. Thousands died just trying to make it to the beach, and then those cliffs. Many more died trying to take those cliffs and quiet those guns. It was a day of sacrifice for the allies, and the people who gave their all did not die in vain. The invasion succeeded. The allies were able to take Normandy, establish supply points and a naval base of operations. Valuable reinforcements came, landing strips for Allied aircraft were secure. Over the next year the Allies pushed ahead to Germany, with the Russians pushing from the East. The hope and the fears of the free world went with them every step of the way.

These boys...these men who gave their all were previously neighbors. Sons. Brothers Husbands. Students. Teachers. Ball players. Butchers. Milkmen. Farmers. Accountants. Shop clerks. Builders. Trash men. They were, in short, the people we knew. And they were the best of us. They were Americans; raised in a country of freedom, hardened during a time a depression, and conditioned to defeat a terrible foe with terrible means. They knew what had to be done. The people back home knew what had to be done. Everyone knew that it came with a price. These men of D-Day paid that price.
Think about that. They knew the cost, and they paid it. Don't we need to remember that and cherish it? Don't we need to thank them for that? What strikes me today is that every time I talk to a friend, a soldier who is just home from Iraq and Afghanistan is that fact that they also know what is at stake and that the freedom for our futures and for the future of others exacts a price. As the cliche goes, and is true as most cliches are, freedom is not free. The sooner we remember that... the sooner we remember the true value of it, the better off we will be.

I want to also share a couple of videos. One is a segment from a documentary entitled Voices of the Veterans. The men being interviewed were from a town in Virginia that lost more men per capita that day than any other town in America.They were in the very first wave.



The second video is an episode from a History Channel documentary entitled: D-Day June 6th, 1944: The Total Story. The documentary was narrated by Gerald McRaney and debuted in June of 1994, on the 50th Anniversary.



I offer a thank you to all of the families who lost someone that day. Thank you for your sacrifice. It is not forgotten. A prayer of gratitude to those men who went into that day, scared and unsure, but going into the breech nonetheless. And a thank you to any veterans of D-Day and World War II. We are lucky and grateful that you are with us. May we learn from you and always treasure the freedom you fought for. I know it may not seem like many do if you watch the news, but so many untold millions are grateful. And lastly, thank you to my Grandfather. Your example will always be a guiding force in my life.

Oh, I know it's a penny here and a penny there, but look at me. I worked myself up from nothing to a state of extreme poverty.

Let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this.
May those who gave all rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

"heroes all"
Very true.
As are the men and women who fight for us today. I hope we will have the same reverence for them in the future.

Anonymous said...

"They knew what had to be done. The people back home knew what had to be done. Everyone knew that it came with a price. These men of D-Day paid that price.
Think about that. They knew the cost, and they paid it. Don't we need to remember that and cherish it? Don't we need to thank them for that?"

I wish these words could be published on every front page of every paper today.
Instead we get assinine stuff about Paris Hilton or Democrat Presidential candidates.
Thank you for remembering.

Samantha W. said...

Very touching tribute.....I enjoyed it.....my Uncle was a WW II vet, but arrived after D-Day. He was at Battle of Buldge. I have always been humbled by his sacrifice and grateful he was able to make it back.

Sallie said...

This was very touching. Your picture captures it all. What had to be running through those young men's minds as they approached the beach? Or even the young paratroopers who could see it all happening overhead. That took some guts.

Those were some brave men, and it's important to keep their memories alive.

J.C. Loophole said...

Thanks to everyone for their kind comments.
Good to see you again Sallie - we miss your postings at Old Time Radio. We hope to see some again soon!

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