#DDay: We Honor The Bravest Of Men Who Fought And Gave Their All For Liberty [VIDEO]

#DDay: We Honor The Bravest Of Men Who Fought And Gave Their All For Liberty [VIDEO]

#DDay: We Honor The Bravest Of Men Who Fought And Gave Their All For Liberty [VIDEO]

June 6, 1944. The day that Operation Overlord began. It started with landings on the beaches of Normandy as hellfire rained down on them from the cliff tops.

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It continued with paratroopers jumping out of planes into a countryside that could be housing German soldiers behind every rock wall, house, shed, or tree.

American Paratroopers
American Paratroopers

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The Allied effort included 12,000 airplanes, two-thirds of which were British. 1,213 ships sailed for Normandy. 892 were British, 200 were American.

But on that day, at that hour. Every soldier, every officer, every General had one purpose and one thought in mind. Stopping Hitler in his tracks.

General Eisenhower’s address to the soldiers resonates still today.

They knew the invasion and the subsequent battles over the course of 77 days wouldn’t be without cost. It was. 40,000 American and British lives lost on Normandy’s beaches that very first day. Yet they pressed on. They persevered against odds we can only imagine.

Winston Churchill’s report to Parliament that day made clear both the complexity and the resolve of the Allied Forces as they undertook the invasion.

This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred.
It involves tides, wind, waves, visibility, both from the air and the sea standpoint, and the combined employment of land, air and sea forces in the highest degree of intimacy and in contact with conditions which could not and cannot be fully foreseen.
There are already hopes that actual tactical surprise has been attained, and we hope to furnish the enemy with a succession of surprises during the course of the fighting.
The battle that has now begun will grow constantly in scale and in intensity for many weeks to come and I shall not attempt to speculate upon its course.
This I may say, however. Complete unity prevails throughout the Allied Armies. There is a brotherhood in arms between us and our friends of the United States.

72 years ago American and British soldiers, many of whom were barely 18 years old, set out on a military operation that would turn the tide of war and ultimately save more lives that we can begin to fathom.

Were they scared? I’d say they were petrified. But they went ahead anyway.

Did they see horrors we can’t begin to fathom? Yes they did, but they pressed on.

Were they fighting for freedom, fighting to rid the world of an insane horrific tyranny? Yes they were.

Did they succeed against odds unimaginable? Yes they did.

This by far, is one of the greatest accolades to our Allied Forces, given 32 years ago on the 40th Anniversary.

Some things are indeed worth dying for. The fight and love of liberty. The hatred of tyranny. Our democracy, our Republic. On that day, 72 years ago, Americans and British fought for each one of those things and for their brothers alongside them.

Now, 72 years later, the beaches of Normandy are quiet. You don’t hear the sounds of guns, of tanks, of cannons, of aircraft, the yells and screams of the men. But it is there, they are there.

WWII Veteran salutes a fallen friend at Normandy
WWII Veteran salutes a fallen friend at Normandy
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British Veteran Eric Buckley, 85, from Leicester places a wooden remembrance plaque on Sword beach

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If it weren’t for the men and women who sacrificed so much during World War II. If it weren’t for those Rangers who led the way, and those thousands of soldiers who jumped off those landing craft, waded ashore, and scaled the cliffs of Normandy…If it weren’t for the thousands of paratroopers jumping from planes – all in a fight for freedom from Hitler’s tyranny…not a single one of us would be where we are nor have what we have today.

Their sacrifice, and the lives well lived of the soldiers who came home is immeasurable. They are indeed the Greatest Generation. Let us always remember, never forget, and let us learn from their example.

 

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2 Comments
  • GWB says:

    It started with …
    It continued with …

    Actually, it started with the paratroopers the night before. Then came the landings the morning of.
    It was tricky to time it that way, because the paratrooper attacks could give away the game for the next morning. Eisenhower and others didn’t see any other way to make it work, though, since they needed the paratrooper work done when the troops got off the beach.

    One thing about the jumps the night before. It was a pretty new thing at that point. And a lot of it was done with active enemy opposition to the aircraft. That meant troop planes being shot down.
    It also meant that a bunch of bomber pilots recruited for the necessary flood of paratroopers reverted to habit patterns when they started taking flack: they got low. When they turned the jump lights green, it meant a bunch of guys jumped out just above treetop level – their chutes never even had time to open. Entire sticks augured in.
    And, yet, all their compatriots bundled back into more planes for more operations, in order to take the fight to the Axis.
    For a decent rendition of the paratrooper’s life (told first hand) from training to the Rhine, read Donald R Burgett’s series of books, starting with Currahee!.

    Let us never forget, yes. Let us never forget that it is WE who have to stand against tyranny, and none other. WE must decide to stand for our freedoms. WE must say “No jackboots!” WE must resolve to die on our feet rather than live on our knees. We must follow the example of those who resolved to break the walls of Fortress Europa, or die trying.

    • Nina says:

      Thank you GWB! 😉

      And I agree. Now more than ever we should follow their example and stand FOR Freedom and AGAINST Tyranny in all forms

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