Tuesday, June 05, 2007

D-Day Anniversary

Over a year ago I was enthralled by this exquisite piece of journalism about the effect of D-Day on one small town in Virginia. I'm privileged to link to this amazing story again, in honor of tomorrow's anniversary of D-Day.

December 7th, 1941, may be a day that will live in infamy, but June 6, 1944, will be a day that will live in honor.

Read the whole thing.


Law and Order Teacher said...

Wow! That was hard to read. It goes back to my point about teaching history. History is the story of people. If history is taught as a story and not just a recitation of facts, students will learn it and appreciate it. I'll save that story and use it when I teach the Second World War. These are stories that need to be told in order that the students appreciate the sacrifice of their fellow Americans to secure their freedom. Suggested reading: Zell Miller's speech at the 2004 Republican Convention. Powerful. Thanks for the post.

Polski3 said...

And in the early morning hours of 06 June, the C-47 piloted by my Uncle was hit by German AA fire.....and after many adventures, he heard from the Gestapo officer who was very kind in his interegation, "Fur sich, der Krieg is uber." And off to the POW camp he went. All my grandparents recd. from Uncle Sam was a telegram listing their son as MIA. My uncle was liberated by Patton's troops in April 1945. In fact, Patton himself stopped by the camp. When one of his ADC's commented that the prisoners had recd. very little food, Patton poked his riding crop into the large belly of this ADC and laughingly exclaimed that "You could use a bit of the diet these boys have been getting!". Then, George ordered a kitchen outfit to the camp to make donuts, because these boys hadn't had a donut in a long time.

Thanks for the link. From what I have read, such losses occurred at times during the Civil War. But usually not so many at once, so fast.

MikeAT said...


You probably remember these words from our college days.

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.
Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.''…The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next.”

The whole speech is at http://www.reaganfoundation.org/reagan/speeches/speech.asp?spid=20
Have a great D + 63


David said...

law & order teacher...your students might also be interested in this story about the invasion of Dieppe, which was intended as a dry run for D-Day. It's important to study the failures as well as the successes, and to learn the ways in which today's failure can pave the way for tomorrow's success.

Law and Order Teacher said...

Thanks for the information. Another story that was hard to read. My father-in-law was in the Army Air Corps in Italy. He wears a ball cap that reflects his veteran status in WWII. Thankfully, as we go around town he is stopped and thanked quite frankly. He is always thrilled and humbled by the recognition. The greatest generation? You bet!

Ellen K said...

I had forgotten. And I should know better. Not one network, not one local station even mentioned the fact. My father in law was on Iwo Jima. He "won" a Bronze Star. He's no longer with us because too late has society decided the oral memories of these men were worth saving. My father served in the Occupation Forces in Nagasaki. He went out on patrol every night getting Japanese snipers and saboteurs-in an insurgency much like Iraq. Nobody bothers to mention those days. But a few men are still around who have those important stories to share. My dad is gone now, but for other dads out there, this Fathers' Day, get a recorder and ask questions. Get the story. It's important.

allen said...

It took me quite a while to figure out what bothered me about all that "Greatest Generation" stuff.

If you believe, as I do, that humanity hasn't changed much since we got up off all fours, and maybe not before that, then this generation is made of largely the same stuff as the greatest generation.

The difference, I think, is that the greatest generation had to face the greatest threats and we, largely, don't. When the situation doesn't demand much of people it shouldn't be all that big a surprise that the level to which we rise isn't that high. But when we are asked to deal with a real threat it turns out that there are Americans every bit as courageous and determined as the guys who stormed the beaches of Normandy.