Friday, June 6, 2008

Remembering D-Day: June 6, 1944

The members of my parent’s generation always remember where they were on the day that the Allies began the fight to re-take Europe from the Nazis (as we will always remember where we were on 9-11).

Gathering off the coast of France were the Allied forces which consisted of some 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other types of ships and some 500 naval vessels. According to the website, the warships included seven battleships and eighteen coastal cruisers.

Some Americans were going about their routines here in the States and worrying about their friends and relatives who were fighting the war around the world. Many of those friends and relatives were fighting their way onto the beaches of Normandy simply trying to stay alive, but determined to deny the Nazis their dream of world conquest.

The invasion would take place at five key beaches, codenamed Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The heaviest resistance was at Omaha and Utah beaches. Casualties were heavy, but the beachhead was eventually established at great cost.

For a detailed timeline of this invasion, go to this page at The above photo shows General Eisenhower meeting with troops of the 101st Airborne Division before the invasion began.

On this day, please take time to remember the brave warriors of the Greatest Generation who served during the greatest invasion in history. Remember also those who gave their lives that day.

The next time you see an older gentleman wearing a hat that says “World War II Veteran”, thank him and buy him lunch.

SFC Chuck Grist

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