Monday, June 6, 2016

I Remember June 6, 1944!

I wasn't born yet, but I remember June 6, 1944, which came to be known as 'D-Day'. I didn't arrive into this world until September 9, l944, however throughout my childhood, Uncle Tom, my mother's brother, told plenty of stories of that horrific day. Although he, himself, wasn't on the beaches of Normandy (he was stationed in the Philippines at the time), he knew many of the men who were. And whenever he spoke of his buddies, the ones who lived and the ones who died, his eyes stared into space and tears streamed down his cheeks like he was watching a sad movie that only he could see.

European countries were invaded by the Germans and, being their allies, the United States sent troops to curtail the enemies' advances. In the wee hours on June 6, 1944, thousands of young men jumped into the cold waters off the coast of Normandy, France, with rifles and bayonets raised above their heads, prepared to do battle. Unfortunately these soldiers weren't as prepared as they thought. Even before many of them actually departed their U-boats, they were mortally wounded. Hundreds more were killed on Omaha beach by German artillery without ever reaching the shore.

Perhaps General George Patton, who headed up the Allied Forces, praised these selfless soldiers best when he said, "It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived."  Although their efforts seemed futile in those first few moments, with courage and determination, those who survived continued on to eventually secure the beaches and drive the Germans out of Europe.

I tell you about D-Day because many of you have never heard of it before. This event has been memorialized in history books and cinemas, yet if you ask anybody under the age of forty, they probably would say they have no idea what you're referring to. How sad! In order to not be repeated, the past must be studied, analyzed, and understood. According to Oprah, "when we know better, we do better."

I have six grandsons and one granddaughter. Just thinking about the possibility that any of them would some day lose their lives in a foreign land fighting for a country's freedom brings tears to my eyes. Yet I thank God that these strong-minded youngsters, should they choose to serve in the United States military, would gladly join in the efforts to bring peace to a war-ravaged land.

God bless America! God bless those who have served and who will continue to serve so that freedom will always be ours.

If you don't anything know about D-Day, and don't have an Uncle Tom to tell you stories, make it a point to google it today!