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D-Day and what we should learn 70 years later

Updated on November 25, 2016
Nick Burchett profile image

Nick is a US Army veteran, husband and father of three, and has a BA in History. He is a Civil War aficionado and also enjoys genealogy.

Reading the news this morning of June 6th, 2014 and on Facebook has given me a smile and a touch to the heart as I see the tributes to then soldiers who landed at Normandy France on June 6, 1944: D-Day.

My own tribute went as follows:

Today marks 70 years since D-Day in Normandy. Many of them are gone now, but the ones that are left, who on this day in 1944, had no idea what they were going to face on that French beach, are America’s true heroes, then AND now. Look up to them, respect them, and THANK THEM with sincere gratitude. These men are the epitome of America and we need to ensure generations never forget them and their sacrifice. Both of my grandfathers served during WWII and my granduncle lost his life after the Battle of the Bulge. Respect and honor is in my veins, and I am totally humbled at the thought of the sacrifices they endured as well as their brothers in arms on June 6th, 1944. God bless them and every single United States soldier.

I also served in the United States Army, I belong to various veteran and patriotic organizations and have found that this level of respect for our soldiers, especially those who are slowly passing from this earth, is fast becoming a cliché with our young people.

Herbert 'Andy' Anderson in Normandy with College of the Ozarks students Matt, left, and Alyssa.
Herbert 'Andy' Anderson in Normandy with College of the Ozarks students Matt, left, and Alyssa.

However, as a gleam of hope, one of the more touching and uplifting articles was one at NBC News (of all places) that told the story of some D-Day veterans teaching students from the College of the Ozarks not only the history of D-Day and World War II, but of their own, personal histories. The gap between these 90+ year old men and these young adults was closed a little bit by this gathering. Most of all, these students learn many things at this college, one of which includes patriotism as one of its visions and goals.

The article did mention that too many of the students come from areas where “service to country is not a punchline. It’s something that people take very, very seriously.” How refreshing is that?

Forget Common Core, this is the kind of history education that needs to be taught in our schools and educators should be seizing the opportunity to invite these heroes to speak to their students while they still have them here to tell their incredible stories.

Our country is lacking in many places, and duty, respect, honor and patriotism are at the top of the list. How many times have you gone to the ball game and while the National Anthem was being played people were talking, fooling around on their cell phones and not putting their hand over their heart? That is not what these men sacrificed themselves for in service to this country. They deserve more than that. They deserve respect and honor. They served for that flag and anthem. When you disrespect it, you disrespect them.

Source

Unfortunately, our young people are on the average not learning these ideals. Do remember when you were in grade school and had to recite the Pledge of Allegiance EVERY morning be class? I do. But that doesn't happen anymore, at least not on the scale it should. How can a person understand why, during the Civil War, when the flag was dropped it was instantly picked up again? Or why soldiers in WWII raised that flag over Iwo Jima? If they don't respect the flag, they don't respect the men, such as the heroes of D-Day, who fought and died FOR that flag.

So on this anniversary of D-Day, we should reflect, and remember these soldiers and let their duty, honor and sacrifice, be a wake up call to a new generation of Americans who will respect those heroes and learn and understand the principles of WHY they did, and would do again in a heartbeat, what they did on that beach in France 70 years ago.

World War II vets, members of the 29th Infantry Division who landed at Omaha Beach salute during the playing of the U.S. national anthem at a ceremony honoring the division's sacrifices June 4 in Vierville-Sur-Mer, France.
World War II vets, members of the 29th Infantry Division who landed at Omaha Beach salute during the playing of the U.S. national anthem at a ceremony honoring the division's sacrifices June 4 in Vierville-Sur-Mer, France. | Source

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    • Nick Burchett profile imageAUTHOR

      Nick Burchett 

      4 years ago from IL, MO & KS

      Thanks Graham. So many heroes came out of that time.

    • old albion profile image

      Graham Lee 

      4 years ago from Lancashire. England.

      Hi Nick. Excellent! I totally agree with all you have said. It seems to me that these days the backbone has been removed from our western society. These brave men and women along with the Brits and others gave all they could. Some came home, many did not. They heard the drums and they did their duty. Today I fear we all stand back for to long before action is taken.

      Having read several of your hubs and having read your profile, I think you have a grasp of the past and present. Well done.

      voted up and all.

      Graham.

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