Yesterday The Military Times posted a story about D-Day. I would like to share some of that story so that people who may not have studied that day and what it meant can appreciate what the young men involved did on that day.
The story reports:
Seventy-two years ago, on June 6, 1944, Allied troops waded ashore on the beaches of Normandy to liberate Nazi-occupied Europe. The night before, on June 5, American airborne forces had landed on the western flank of the invasion area near Sainte-Mère-Église, while British airborne forces secured the eastern flank and Pegasus Bridge. They jumped out of C-47 Dakota transport planes, through darkness and into glory. Some arrived by glider. Pvt. John Steele of the 82nd Airborne landed on the steeple of the church at Sainte-Mère-Église. He managed to survive by playing dead.
…On Utah Beach — all of the landing sites had code names — 56-year-old Brig. Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (the oldest son of former President Teddy Roosevelt) landed about a mile from his intended target. When asked whether to re-embark the 4th Infantry Division, he simply said, “We’ll start the war from right here!”
…Eisenhower planned the invasion from his offices at 20 Grosvenor Square in London. Number 1 Grosvenor Square was the wartime location of the American embassy. Averell Harriman presided over lend-lease aid from 3 Grosvenor Square, helping to fund our wartime Allies. The OSS (Office of Strategic Services), forerunner of the CIA, had its offices at 70 Grosvenor Square. Small wonder that this neighborhood was known as Little America at the time. Some wags even referred to Grosvenor Square as Eisenhowerplatz.
Imagine if an operation like the Normandy landing were to occur today in 2016. In the age of social media, interactive polls would ask: “Which beach do you prefer, Normandy or Pas de Calais?” Could all the members of the 101st Screaming Eagles, painted in Indian war paint with Mohawk haircuts, be counted upon not to post their pictures on Facebook? That seems doubtful.
…This June 6, raise a glass and toast the heroism of all those young men who fought to liberate America’s oldest ally from Nazi occupation. Without their service and sacrifice, our world would be a darker place. General Patton may have summed it up best when he said, “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
My father was one of the men who landed on Utah beach. I can’t image what those men went through. I only hope that somehow as America is faced with the Islamization that has happened in most of Europe we will find the same courage that America had in 1944.