Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day + 70

As I am sure you have read many times over already, today we mark the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, more commonly referred to as D-Day. There are countless stories that we have all read and numerous accounts that have been relayed over the years. Some have resonated more deeply than others but one thing remains constant, these were men who accomplished something extraordinary. There are not many people that can say that they changes the course of history or, in many respects, saved the world but these men earned that right without question.

I have known many men during my life that played a part in that seminal event. I have had the privilege to talk at great length about their experiences and each time it was not about what they did or their actions, it was about all of them pushing forward as one unified force working together to achieve what some thought was impossible. These selfless men, some making the ultimate sacrifice, served honorably not just for their country but for humanity.

Seventy years later and few are still with us that lived through the courageous actions of that day. However, there are men still with us who lived though that campaign and are taking this day to remember those who fell beside them and recall the small victories of that day that culminated in the winning of a war and victory for all people. One veteran D-Day paratrooper, Jim 'Pee Wee' Martin, is even marking this occasion by reenacting his D-Day jump.

This day, and every day for that matter, we should be thankful for the freedom that these men fought for and the way of life many gave their lives to defend. We remain a free people thanks to those men who served to protect and defend us. This, the greatest generation, is a part of all of us as no one can say that their family wasn’t impacted by the war. These ordinary men demonstrated the good that humanity is capable of when we band together for a common cause. The showed us that extraordinary results are the product of men who ardently serve a righteous goal.

The men who fought on this day, the men and women who supported the war effort, those who served before and since with the same duty and honor should forever be praised for their sacrifices and service. D-Day while seen as a single campaign was the result of the work at home and abroad for month before the war to ensure victory. Remember those and thank those who made victory possible who ensured that freedom and liberty survived the darkest time in modern history.