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.
We don't teach history much in American schools anymore. I wrote a few years ago on this blog that I'd be happy if students could be made aware of the last line of the quote above taken from the U.S. Army's D-Day webpage. In 2004, Instapundit's Scott Johnson, a powerful voice for the American experience, made a similar plea over a decade ago where he addressed our remembrance of a war quickly fading into the dusty archives of the Information Age. He's reposted it again this year- it's full of a number of significant links - to remind us of the meaning of the day and our responsibility to keep that meaning alive well into the future.
|Into The Jaws Of Death, U.S. Troops Wading Through Water and Nazi Gunfire|
Map, Department of History, United States Military Academy
Photo, Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Public Domain Photographs, 1882-1962