D-Day At 60

Today also marks the 60th Anniversary of the D-Day invasions, the beginning of the end for the Nazi regime. On this day six decades ago, thousands of young men went bravely into the jaws of hell to save a people a world away.

Many of them never returned.

It is hard to imagine what it would take to do such a thing. Imagine, being a teenager, a farm kid, being sent to a faraway place, given a weapon, and told to assault a beach defended by machine gun bunkers, artillery, and thousands of the enemy. Knowing that your chances of getting off that beach alive would be slim. Knowing that you may never see the fields of your childhood again. Knowing that that you may never see your loved ones again. Seeing the remains of your friends washing in the surf, their blood joining the thousands of others killed in that one terrible battle.

In this time when many believe that freedom is not worth fighting for, it is nearly impossible to imagine how much courage, how much strength, and how much determination it would take to assault that beach. Yet thousands upon thousands of Americans, British, and Canadian troops did exactly that. Even today those veterans of this great conflict still say that they were simply doing what they were trained to do. Yet what they were trained to do was nothing less than save our world from a horrible tyranny.

There is a reason why they are called "the Greatest Generation". That reason lies on the fields of Normany where row upon row of crosses are testiments to honor, duty, and incredible self-sacrifice. The sacrifice made on the beaches of France echo throughout history, the liberties of millions won upon the blood of thousands.

They were the best of us, and as they gave their lives for our freedom, we must never diminish, never forget, and never fail to understand the cause for which they pledged their lives.

To all those who fought for our freedoms on that day, and to all those who continue that legacy of self-sacrifice, all I can say is this:

Thank you.

UPDATES: Blackfive, a member of the military himself has a wonderful set of links to other D-Day tributes.

Ralph Peters has a wonderful editorial on the bravery of D-Day.

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