D-Day: Remembering a Day on Omaha and Utah Beaches, Normandy, France
"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."
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force
June 6, 1944
June 6, 1944
After months of planning and preparing, a massive deception operation, and a one day weather delay Allied Forces embarked on Operation Overlord to penetrate Hilter's "Atlantic Wall" and free Western Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany. The success of the mission depended on intricate coordination, a spring tide, calm seas, and a full moon.
With air and naval support and an earlier airborne assault, an amphibious invasion was focused on 5 beaches, Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword, along 50 miles of the Normandy coastline. Beginning at 6:30AM on the morning of June 6, 1944, approximately 156,000 troops from Britain, Canada, and the United States hit the beach in the largest amphibious invasion in world history. Over 4,000 Allied forces perished that day with thousands more wounded or missing.
By August 1944 the Allies had liberated Paris and the Battle of Normandy was essentially over. With Allied troops continuing to push east and Soviet troops pushing west, Nazi Germany eventually surrendered on May 8, 1945.
The National D-Day Memorial is located in Bedford, Virginia - the town that suffered the highest per capita D-Day losses in the nation.
D-Day, June 6, 1944, Normandy, France
In Flanders Fields
By: Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
While written by a Canadian Army Officer and Surgeon in World War I, the poem seems appropriate then, now, and always.
Originally a day to commemorate fallen solders from the Civil War, the first such celebration was in Charleston, SC where a group of freedmen (freed slaves), ministers, and teachers gathered to honor dead Union solders that had been prisoners nearby.
Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a day set aside to honor all of those men and women that have died in service to our country. Now observed on the last Monday in May, it is often the "official" start of summer.
With few remaining World War II veterans, it is appropriate that, on Memorial Day, we remember this infamous day at the beach.
We Honor and Remember
To all of the men and women that have given their 'last full measure of devotion' in service to their country, we honor you and remember.
To all of those Gold Star Families that have lost loved ones, while nothing can ease your pain, you continue in our thoughts and prayers.
To all of those that have served or are currently serving our country, we thank you.
Our Son, Andy
The Travis Manion Foundation "leadership program challenges young men and women to develop their character by seeking "If Not Me Then Who..." moments in their everyday life."
When asked why they serve, many of the young men and women in the military today feel this way. 'If not me, then who?' These young men and women of conviction and devotion to duty will continue to keep our military strong and our country free.
Who will serve in the future?
Suport our Service Members, Veterans and Fallen Heroes
The USO is a private, nonprofit, non-partisan organization whose mission is to support the troops by providing morale, welfare and recreation-type services to our men and women in uniform.
- Disabled American Veterans
"Building Better Lives for America's Disabled Veterans"
- Wounded Warrior Project
To honor and empower wounded warriors.
- The Travis Manion Foundation - "If not me, then who..."
Col. Tom Manion, USMCR (ret.) the father of a fallen hero, First Lt. Travis Manion killed in Iraq, April 29, 2007, has started a foundation in his name to assist veteran's and families of Fallen Heroes.
© 2012 bankscottage