68 years ago on this morning, American troops were storming the beaches of Normandy, dying by the thousands as they fought to secure this German stronghold. It’s strange to think that 68 years after that day, the world is the way it is now. Things could’ve been horribly different.
For those of you who don’t know, today is D-Day. The “D” doesn’t necessarily stand for anything, but is a military code signifying an important day. June 6, 1944 was the day that the Western Allies invaded the beaches of Normandy, France. This was the first invasion on the path to liberating Europe from Nazi oppression, and the biggest armada (naval) attack in history.
Led by U.S. General Dwight Eisenhower and British Army officer Bernard Montgomery, the attack was executed by land, sea, and air troops. Many of the soldiers knew they were staring death in the face with this seemingly impossible task, but they knew that they would die fighting for their country’s freedom from tyranny as well as for Europe’s freedom.
The official Army D-Day website includes audio clips of Eisenhower’s message to the soldiers before the invasion, a WWII poster gallery, descriptions and maps of the Normandy invasions, and a video with different infantry divisions discussing the fateful day. The official website for the History channel goes into more depth with video clips and information about the Normandy invasion, WWII, Pearl Harbor, and more.
The American victory at Normandy was the beginning of the end of World War II. If Americans had failed, the world would be a very different place. Smith encourages our families to know their country’s history and world history; Memorial Day isn’t the only day to honor our servicemen and remember the cause.