Posts Tagged ‘D-Day’

Today is the 68th anniversary of the invasion of Europe. Thanks to all the Veterans who served in WWII, and a special thanks to those that hit the beaches of Normandy, or dropped behind enemy lines on that infamous day. Without their sacrifices and bravery, WWII would have lasted a lot longer. There aren’t many WWII Veterans left. If you see one, make sure you let them know that they are appreciated. It goes a long way with them.

Warriors of yesterday, today commemorate D-Day together

SAINTE-MERE-EGLISE, France (June 6, 2012) — When Eugene Cook jumped into Normandy during the predawn hours of June 6, 1944, he landed several miles from his intended drop zone.

Alone in the dark French countryside, the young 101st Airborne Division paratrooper from Georgia assembled his rifle, got his bearings and began looking for other Americans among Normandy’s hedgerows. In the days and weeks that followed, Cook took part in the now famous battles that began the liberation of France and led to Allied victory over Nazi Germany.

Cook, 87, was among the handful of World War II veterans who attended the 68th anniversary of the D-Day landings this week. U.S. service members from all the military branches took part in honoring them, something Cook said he was glad to see.

“We have to commemorate the lives of the guys we left here,” Cook said. “They gave their lives for us and we should show them thanks.”

Known as Operation Overlord, the D-Day landings of June 6, 1944, combined U.S. and Allied air drops with beach landings along Normandy’s coast. U.S. paratroopers from the 82nd and 101st Infantry Division dropped onto the Cotenin peninsula to secure bridges, roads and towns vital to allowing the troops landing at nearby Utah Beach to move inland.

“That day, 68 years ago, as American blood mixed with French soil, it cemented even further the strong bonds between our two nations,” said U.S. Army Secretary John McHugh.

For returning veterans, there was a mix of feelings — glad to be alive and sharing good times and sorrowful memories of those who died.

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Here are some links to the Army’s website for D-Day:

United States Army Divisions in the Normandy Campaign

Army Assault Forces – Normandy 6 – 7 June 1944

Order of Battle for the Normandy Campaign

D-Day Airborne and Beach Assault

General Eisenhower’s Message Sent Just Prior to the Invasion

WWII Poster Gallery

Today is the 67th anniversary of the invasion of Europe.

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. General Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded — but more than 100,000 Soldiers began the march across Europe to defeat Hitler.

It was the largest amphibious operation conducted in history.

It was a turkey shoot for the Nazis.

Yet they kept on storming the beach until there was a beach head.

Thousands were killed and wounded to start the liberation of Europe.

Medics were in high demand.

Eventually, Europe was liberated from the Nazi tyranny.

We remember their service, sacrifice and dedication to the freedoms that we all enjoy to this day. Without them, the world would be considerably different today.

To all the men and women that made this day what it is, I salute you all for a job well done.

Here are some related posts:

Before D-Day, there was D-38, at Slapton Sands.

Currahee! The Airborne goes in.

D-Day – We weren’t the only ones there, we had Allies

D-Day, the Navy on the beaches

Sixty-seven years ago …

June 6, 1944: D-Day in Normandy

D-Day: 67th anniversary

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s D-Day Prayer

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

D-Day

Posted: 6 Jun 2008 in Military
Tags: , , ,

In order to commemorate the D-Day landings, I have decided to direct your attention to a couple of Ronald Reagan’s 40th anniversary speeches. Here’s the first of two:

40th Anniversary of D-Day (Omaha Beach)

Remarks at the Normandy Invasion Ceremony
Omaha Beach Memorial at Omaha Beach, France.
June 6, 1984

President Reagan addressed an audience at the United States-France Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day. 1,031 words

Mr. President, distinguished guests, we stand today at a place of battle, one that 40 years ago saw and felt the worst of war. Men bled and died here for a few feet of–or inches of sand, as bullets and shellfire cut through their ranks. About them, General Omar Bradley later said, “Every man who set foot on Omaha Beach that day was a hero.”

No speech can adequately portray their suffering, their sacrifice, their heroism. President Lincoln once reminded us that through their deeds, the dead of battle have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could. But we can only honor them by rededicating ourselves to the cause for which they gave a last full measure of devotion.

Today we do rededicate ourselves to that cause. And at this place of honor, we’re humbled by the realization of how much so many gave to the cause of freedom and to their fellow man.

Some who survived the battle of June 6, 1944, are here today. Others who hoped to return never did.

“Someday, Lis, I’ll go back,” said Private First Class Peter Robert Zanatta, of the 37th Engineer Combat Battalion, and first assault wave to hit Omaha Beach. “I’ll go back, and I’ll see it all again. I’ll see the beach, the barricades, and the graves.”

Those words of Private Zanatta come to us from his daughter, Lisa Zanatta Henn, in a heartrending story about the event her father spoke of so often. “In his words, the Normandy invasion would change his life forever,” she said. She tells some of his stories of World War II but says of her father, “the story to end all stories was D-Day.”

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Here’s the second:

40th Anniversary of D-Day (Pointe du Hoc)

Remarks at the U.S. Ranger Monument
Pointe du Hoc, France
June 6, 1984

One of two speeches commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, this speech was delivered at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France, where veterans of the Normandy Invasion, and others, had assembled for the ceremony. Later during the day, President Reagan spoke at Omaha Beach, France. 1,988 words.

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers–the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

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