Today is the 60th anniversary of the landing of allied forces at Normandy Beach and elsewhere, commonly known as “D-Day,” the day which marked the beginning of the end for the 3rd Reich. The multiple beach landings involved over 150,000 troops and consisted of beach landings, paratroopers, air attacks and ship-based bombardments. By July 4, over 1,000,000 men had landed. Over 10,000 Allied troops were killed or wounded and up to 9,000 Axis troops were dead or wounded. Those not lost on the initial assault on the beaches were killed later in the famous hedgerows of Normandy. The hedgerows made for a natural cover for hidden German troops who killed many Allied troops that had made it that far. One of my father’s boyhood friends was killed at the hedgerows.
Everyone should take a moment to remember the sacrifice of all the veterans of our wars. I will never forget my father’s response to the movie “Saving Pvt. Ryan,” – “Hell, that was nothing – they can’t show what it was really like.” My admiration of what those guys went through and for my father’s many south Pacific beach landings went up tremendously that day.