Sixty-nine years ago this morning, Americans were waking up to the news that the invasion of France had begun. 156,000 Allied troops fought through rough waters, mines and withering fire to storm the beaches of Normandy. Many had never before experienced combat.
By the end of the day, 1,465 Americans were dead. Four times that number had been wounded. But they had established a beach head, and the long-awaited invasion of western Europe had begun.
Within two and a half months, France had been liberated, and in less than a year, Germany had surrendered.
And it all began on a cold morning in June, sixty nine years ago today.
A nineteen year old Soldier who fought on D-Day is 88 years old now. The Greatest Generation is slowly fading away, but what they did will live on in the annals of history.
They are our heroes of the week.
In June of 1994 I was stationed on the USS Normandy. We had the privilege of escorting 9 Veterans of the D-Day landings over for the 50th Anniversary celebrations. Those men were a wealth of information and they kept ALL the crew enthralled with their stories of that day. The coin I value the most is the CPO Coin I received from one of the 9 who was a retired Chief Boatswain’s mate and a coxswain in the first wave at Utah beach.