Thursday, June 6, 2013

Remembering D-Day--June 6, 1944

The five beaches where the landing took place on June 6, 1944

The sixth of June, 1944--a day we commemorate these 69 years later. People my age recognize the date but I fear many in younger generations do not. The Allied Forces invaded German occupied France on that day using thousands of men, thousands of aircraft and naval vessels including landing craft to bring the men ashore to face the monstrous guns the Germans had set up along the shoreline.

Thousands of lives were sacrificed but the battle turned the tide of WWII, initiated the freeing of France and its people and started driving the Germans back to their own country. The map above shows the area where the landing took place, divided into five sections of beaches. Two were taken by Bristish forces, one by the Canadians and two by Americans. 

Ken and I spent a full day at the Normandy beaches and American Military Cemetery this past March. I wrote about it on an earlier post. You can read it here.

Younger generations may wave it off, saying it all happened so long ago. They're right in that point, but it also changed the direction the world was headed, it freed the people of France, and it preserved freedom for us. That is what makes it important to remember today, that and to honor the thousands whose lives were lost that day and the ensuing days of battle. 

The French still honor and respect the 6th of June, 1944 and commemorate it every year. Next year will be the 70th anniversary, and I suspect there will be a lot of media attention then. I hope so. The history of yesterday determines today. 

Our flag is flying in front of our house today as it does every sixth of June, but this year it means even more to us after having visited Normandy only a few months ago. Take a few moments to honor those who fought and those who lost their lives. 

Ken in Normandy on a cold, wet day in March 2013

The American Military Cemetery in Normandy

The American Military Cemetery in Normandy

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