Saturday, June 6, 2009

Sacrifice and the Greatest Generation

Today marks the 65th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied soldiers from the U.S., Britain, and Canada fought through rough seas, vast minefields, and waves of machine gun fire to start to claim a little piece of land called Normandy. From that one foothold, the military offensive that retook France sprung forth.

Just a few editorials and sites today remembering this day and how it changed the world.


Sacrifice and the Greatest Generation - By Tom Brokaw - The Wall Street Journal - "These are the young Americans who went thousands of miles and defeated the mightiest military empires ever unleashed against us."

Of War and Remembrance: The World Recalls Valiant Invasion of the Nazi Empire 65 Years Ago - New York Daily News - "American boys went ashore in the biggest amphibious invasion of all time, far too many of them surrendering their blood and their lives in the cold surf and on sand cruel for its lack of cover. But forward they went, these members of the Greatest Generation, in courageous assault on tyranny's fortress. And, of course, they prevailed - saving nothing less than civilization itself."

D-Day Anniversary: Britain's Good War - The Guardian (England) - "The allied invasion of occupied France which began on the Normandy beaches in the grey light of dawn 65 years ago today was not the turning point of world war two. That accolade belongs to the battlefield exploits of the Red Army, which also bore the brunt of the conflict for longer and killed four times as many German soldiers as the rest of the allies put together. Nevertheless, D-day was seen at the time, and has rightly been seen ever since, as a defining moment in the war and in shaping the postwar world."

Sites of Interest

Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial - American St. Laurent Cemetery, France - "The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located on the site of the temporary American St. Laurent Cemetery, established by the U.S. First Army on June 8, 1944 and the first American cemetery on European soil in World War II. The cemetery site, at the north end of its ½ mile access road, covers 172.5 acres and contains the graves of 9,387 of our military dead, most of whom lost their lives in the D-Day landings and ensuing operations. On the Walls of the Missing in a semicircular garden on the east side of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. Rosettes mark the names of those since recovered and identified."

The National D-Day Memorial Foundation - Bedford, Virginia - "Imagine a place where the lessons and legacy of D-Day are remembered and preserved, a place where veterans of all ages are welcomed and honored, a place where visitors discover and recognize the worthy service of those who answer duty’s call, a place where gravity and dignity are hallmarks. The National D-Day Memorial is such a place."

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