Monday, June 8, 2009

They Serve So We Can Be Free

The WWII Allies commemorated the 65th anniversary of D-Day over the weekend. I didn't want to let this red-letter day slip away without remembering Aunt Julie's Dad, Ernie, who served in the Navy during the war and was part of the Omaha Beach Invasion.

President Obama's poetic remarks in Normandy on Saturday set the scene and helped us remember:

"That was the year (1944) that Hitler ordered his top field marshal to fortify the Atlantic Wall against a seaborne invasion. From the tip of Norway to southern France, the Nazis lined steep cliffs with machine guns and artillery. Low-lying areas were flooded to block passage. Sharpened poles awaited paratroopers. Mines were laid on the beaches and beneath the water. And by the time of the invasion, half a million Germans waited for the Allies along the coast between Holland and Northern France.

"At dawn on June 6th, the Allies came. The best chance for victory had been for the British Royal Air Corps to take out the guns on the cliffs while airborne divisions parachuted behind enemy lines. But all did not go according to plan. Paratroopers landed miles from their mark, while the fog and the clouds prevented Allied planes from destroying the guns on the cliffs. So when the ships landed here at Omaha, an unimaginable hell rained down on the men inside. Many never made it out of the boats.


"And yet, despite all of this, one by one, the Allied forces made their way to shore-here, and at Utah and Juno; Gold and Sword. They were American, British, and Canadian. Soon, the paratroopers found each other and fought their way back. The Rangers scaled the cliffs. And by the end of the day, against all odds, the ground on which we stand was free once more.


"The sheer improbability of this victory is part of what makes D-Day so memorable. It also arises from the clarity of purpose with which this war was waged."

Thank you, once more, to all, like Ernie, who served, and to all who wear the uniform today to keep our country free.

10 comments:

Queenie Jeannie said...

Thank you for remembering our nation's heroes!!!

Susie said...

Great post! We owe everything to those who serve!

Marrdy said...

First of all I forgot (I think) to tell you we got our Poprs!! We took them to a family reunion and had a great time, but forgot the camera!

I loved the presentation they did on Utah Beach. I guess I really didn't realize how many boys lost their lives that day. Thanks for reminding us!

Michelle said...

So much was sacrificed by so many... and I'm so grateful. My grandfather wasn't there, but he was somewhere overseas on D-Day! If only I could still thank him in person.

AB HOME INTERIORS said...

This is AWESOME! Stopping by from SITS!

Kathleen W. said...

It's amazing what those men did, most of them only 18 or 20 years old! My grandfather was in Japan, but I enjoyed hearing some of his stories when he was alive. It always made him teary-eyed.

wenderful said...

I great reminder!

Mrs4444 said...

My Uncle Bill fought at Utah Beach that day. He's been invited to see the WWII Memorial in Washington DC as part of a special program that flies vets out for free. He's going to flip! So awesome.

FrankandMary said...

I just happened on your blog(enticed with Veggie, since I am a vegetarian).


The sacrifices made on the behalf of all Americans...it is hard to fathom, as we sit in our safe homes. Excellent entry. ~Mary

Sue said...

Hear, hear!