June 6th, 1944 (D-Day) Operation Overlord
Yesterday there wasn’t much fan-fare or discussion of D-Day in the major media outlets – as expected. The have become less and less involved in remembering our past as they beat the drum of “looking to the future and forgetting the past” when we should be doing the exact opposite of looking to the future and remembering the past so we don’t make the same mistakes.
But lets talk about this day. If you’re like me you threw in some old WWII war movies like Ike: Countdown to D-Day with Tom Sellek, Saving Private Ryan, the Fighting Seabees with John Wayne or amazing made-for-TV series like Band of Brothers. Any of these give you a great respect for the men and women of the time period and the sacrifice that they went through.
With Ike you get a really good idea of how hard it was to coordinate the launch of so many men on this landing and how Ike wrote two speeches: one speech about the amazing success of the landing and another speech about the horrible failure of the landing if D-Day had ended up a total failure. Some time after D-Day one of Ike’s aides found a crumpled piece of paper in the front pocket of his clothing and saved it, that paper turned out to be the speech Ike had written had we failed on the beaches of Normandy.
Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone.
He had no idea if all this planning and secrecy would work. Here is a man who took responsibility for his actions. He wasn’t going to blame the weather even though weather is what caused the delay until the 6th – he knew that he was sending men to attack regardless of the weather and it is his call to send them. Men of this time period had a great duty and honor to conquer a clearly defined enemy.
If you watched Band of Brothers you may have noticed at the beginning the men who the series was portraying actually talking about their experiences. The first episode one of the men was talking about how the duty and honor was so great that when several men in his own home town could not enlist they committed suicide.
“We came from a small small town and 3 fella’s that were 4F committed suicide because they couldn’t go. A different time.”
The great part about these movies and tv-series is that they are based on real men who did great things in the face of adversity. They felt they had a duty to serve in the military. They didn’t do it for the money, they didn’t do it because they were told to. They did it for honor. It’s very sad that yesterday came and went without much fan-fare. It seems our president really cares little and nothing could be more apparent than his apathy over the memorial day holiday, so why would I expect him to do anything on D-Day?
What did you do this past Sunday to honor or remember those who have come and gone in the name of American Patriotism? If America was attacked would you do the same thing as these men did?