Today, sixty-eight years ago, the beginning of the end of the war against German started. On the early hours of June 6, 1944, allied troop began to parachute into occupied France and a few hours later, the first landing craft went ashore.
The casualties were brutal. 9,000 Americans were killed or wounded that day alone. Perhaps no other community felt D-Day they way that Bedford Virginia felt it. Bedford had a population of 3200 and 19 of her sons made the ultimate sacrifice that day on those bloody beaches of Normandy. No other community suffered such a per capita casualty rate.
In the next eleven months, America would do what we do best. We freed people from tyranny. We liberated France, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy, Austria and Germany. Eleven months later, Hitler was dead and the captives of the death camps were freed.
This was America’s finest hour.
That morning, Dwight Eisenhower addressed the troops. He gave one of his most famous speeches on D-Day.
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.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
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.
Sixty-eight years ago, my father was one of the American soldiers anxiously waiting in England. It would be days before he would go to Europe and begin his trek with George Patton’s Third Army that would end in the heart of a defeated Nazi Germany.
Like so many other veterans of World War II, today he is gone. His generation defeated tyranny in World War II, built America into the greatest nation in the world and before they exited public life into retirement, they defeated the Soviet Union in the cold war.
They set the example that we should follow. They left this nation better off than when they became adults. This is something the baby boom generation cannot say.
They were the greatest generation and June 6, 1944 was their finest hour.
Their actions and their sacrifice should never be forgotten.
I think the historic significance of this day, D-Day, is best illustrated by the current president's decision [for the second year in a row] to IGNORE it!
Gee, if only it has been Kenya and not Europe [and the world] that had been freed from Naziism, he might have observed this anniversary.....
Naw, he prefers a dictatorship, by whatever name......
Remember BHos WWII lie?
During the presidential campaign, on June 28, 2008, Obama spoke before a meeting of the NALEO (National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials) in Washington, D.C. There must not have been a teleprompter. Here he is in the fully glory of his ”you know, ah-um” inarticulateness:
“…and you know, we, we’re betraying, erh, what I think is a solemn pact that we make with our veterans. Erh, you know, they, my father served in World War Two, arh, and when he came home, arh, he got the services he needed, arh….”
When he was caught in the lie he had the history books changed to remove all mention of WWII. If it never happened he couldn't have lied about it.
I was just a toddler. Later came to know what they did for us and the world.
I was 7 yrs old and remember listening to the radio broadcasts of the war. They were particularily scary in 1943 when it looked like we were losing the war. I remember my grandmother pacing up and down saying "Oh My, Oh My!" She was born and raised in Germany and knew first hand what would come if the Nazis won and took over.
My wife's uncle went over with Patton's 3rd Army also, he was a tank gunner with the 4th division. He is still hanging on at 99.
By a half century from now, our descendents will have adopted a special Memorial Day ceremony for members of the baby boom generation: They will gather in cemetaries all across the nation and urinate on our graves.
God bless them all.
My Father never spoke of the war and after he died I was able to look at his discharge papers and He was in 4 major conflicts and He never talked about them. Many have died and been disabled defending our freedoms and for America to have a president and 1st lady that hate America is about as disgusting as it gets. We can never let this happen again....Our kids and Grandkids have to be aware of the consequences....
America is not proud of Michele Obama.
Thank you for reminding us how important a day it was 68 years ago. My Dad didn't fight on this day but was at the Battle of the Bulge. He is gone now, but I wish he had told me more about the war so his story wouldn't be forgotten.
It used to take 48 hours to retrieve a tank at that time. Many men were killed or wounded. My dad invented a system that reduced retrieval time to 8 hours. A great achievement. He was always at his drawing board. Ha, it was always on his lap.
My Dad, who is also now gone, went ashore at Normandy on this day in history. He was in the Army Engineers. My Mom told me when I was growing up to never ask him about the war. And like many I was sorry later that I didn't ask him about his experience. I know that we can later glorify the occasion and think proudly of their accomplishments, but the truth is, war is hell, and it is only those who fell that sanctify the ground an give glory to the day. I only hope that we remember this day in history and the days that surrounded it to learn from it for ourselves and for our children.