Good morning, fellow Castaways.
I promise I won't do this too often, but it is something that needs to be said today. Today is the 71st anniversary of the D-Day Invasions, and to me is a day of introspection and remembrance because of the significance in so many ways of the operation.
It was the largest amphibious invasion in history. More than 5,000 ships landed 156,000 soldiers on the beaches, beginning at 6:30AM. 24,000 men were inserted just after midnight, dropped by parachute or landed using assault gliders. So as I write this, the echoes of one of the largest struggles of man against man still ring through endless time. Of that number, 4,414 were confirmed dead by the end of the day, with more than three time that missing or wounded. German casualties were over 1,000 killed, and over 3,000 civilians lost their lives as well.
It was the beginning of the end of the Third Reich , the initiation of the liberation of Europe from Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime. The landings took place in June of 1944. By the end of August of 1944, France was once again a free republic. Germany fell by May of 1945. The United States, Britain, Canada, and Free France joined together to make it all happen beginning on that very day 71 years ago.
In no way should we glorify war. The beaches were a meat grinder of cataclysmic proportions as men fought
and died by the thousand. Forget the "good guys, bad guys" thinking.
Just leave it behind. On one side, we have the Allied forces and their
desire to remove Hitler from Europe. On the other side, we have German
men and boys who were defending a threat to their homeland. It was a
perfect picture of Hell itself, and no man or woman should have to go through it
But as long as evil exists in this world, we will have men and women who will stand up with their very last breath and say, "No, you will not conquer. No, you will not enslave. No, you will not oppress." We as free people must remain ready to stand between evil and the innocent, to protect with our lives the liberties given us by our Creator, and ensured by good and strong leaders.
We have to remember the horrible cost paid by those who came before, as an example for us to follow: not to die, but to fight with our very lives for freedom.
You wonder why I look with such disdain at our Big Brother culture, why I value personal liberty so highly? I look no further than my own father in law, who went ashore at the Anzio Beachhead in Italy, in the Third Wave.
The liberty they fought and shed blood for was the level little understood by many people today, who see nothing wrong with laying down their freedom for security. Folks wonder why we crotchety old farts shy away from "the new order" of things. Today is a prime example why.
God Bless the USA.
It's truly unfathomable, the events of that day. Saving Private Ryan is a good suggestion of what it looked like, but it couldn't possibly demonstrate what it felt like. And really, who would want to experience that anyway? And yet, unfortunately, it had to happen. What's truly unfathomable is trying to grasp what all these soldiers must have been thinking before, during, and after...ReplyDelete
You're right, Tony. We could debate the necessity of such barbarous behavior all day long and never come to a full consensus across the board. I agree, it was something that needed to be done, and whoever wasn't there could never appreciate pushing through that kind of fear to do the job these boys did for us, for the world. Thank you for your comment.Delete