Skip to comments.D-Day Sacrifice Remembered (Dwindling U.S. heroes tell stories of '44 invasion )
Posted on 06/06/2009 8:02:21 AM PDT by kellynla
NEW ORLEANS | It's "A Gathering of the Greatest Generation" - though this year only a small group of that era's aging heroes will commemorate the invasion of France at Normandy 65 years ago.
On Saturday afternoon, veterans will attend a National World War II Museum ceremony in New Orleans recognizing soldiers, sailors and airmen who made that invasion a turning point for Allied forces. However, organizers acknowledge few members of an already dwindling population are hardy enough to make the trip.
"We won't have a veteran from each state, unfortunately," said William Detweiler, who is in charge of the event. "They're all in their 80s and 90s now, and getting around is just too hard for many of them."
The Department of Veterans Affairs says about 2.6 million World War II veterans are still alive, but more than 300,000 are expected to die this year. California has the most with 555,974, Alaska the fewest with 5,903.
While their mobility may be declining, many have still-fresh memories of the events surrounding the June 6, 1944, invasion of France by American, British and Commonwealth troops - known to history as D-Day. The term was often used by the military to designate the start of invasions during the war. But the massive scale and historic importance of Normandy made D-Day a lasting symbol.
"I tell the story as often as I can, anywhere I can," said Tom Blakey, 89, of New Orleans, who parachuted into France six hours before the first Allied troops came ashore at a strip of Normandy coast designated as Omaha Beach. "That's the only way for it to be remembered, and it needs to be remembered. Your life would not be the same today without that operation."
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtontimes.com ...
Thanks to them we can be free, no matter what we do, we can never repay that debt.
They are unable to do what those before us did....the right thing for the right reasons. There's always another motive slidin' on in to screw things up with our generation.
I long for America to once again possess the depth of character this WWII generation had. We are in the fight of our lifetimes, for the freedom and democracy of our OWN country right now, and so many cannot see.
God Bless the souls of those who fought so courageously on this beach...and beyond.
In this case, they “get it” because it inflates their image as patriots. In the future, when they say something like, “we need to nationalize health care for the good of America,” the sheeple connect the “patriot” image with the (anti-American) initiative and either support it or at minimum assume it's not that big a deal.
You are so right, knighthawk.
I'm always in awe of war veterans. Considering everything they saw and experienced and sacrificed always puts life as a "civilian" in perspective. We can't ever repay that debt, but we need to make sure never to forget what we owe them.
Kellynla...that's LA as in Los Angeles...although I have since moved behind the “Orange Curtain”. BIG SMILE )
but next time I'm in Nawlins, I'll check it out.
6 June 1944 is the single most important day in the 20th century.
My father landed on Omaha Beach on D-Day. He was in the Army Corps of Engineers 203rd Engineer Combat Battalion. To quote from a book he wrote “ In simple terms the primary role of an Engineer Special Brigade was to spearhead an invasion of enemy held territory from the sea”. He landed a little later but there was still heavy fighting occurring.
If Obama had been President during World War Two, he would never use the word "Nazis" when referring to the enemy, would talk about the need to "reach out and find common ground with Hitler", and would constantly remind everyone that he "inherited the war from the previous administration."
Sadly, I was just at the grocery store writing a check. The clerk young offered, today is June 6. I replied, "Of course. Everyone remembers D-day."
Her answer, "What's D-day?" I patiently explained that it was the day the Allied forces invaded France and began the liberation of Europe. Thousands died."
Her reply, "Oh, I thought it had something to do with Terminator."
Thanks to them we can be free, no matter what we do, we can never repay that debt.”
Anyone who has the opportunity should visit the American cemetery in Normandy. Extremely moving.
Some photos taken Oct 2005 at the cemetery at Colleyville sur Mer (Omaha Beach), Pont du Hoc, St. Mer Eglise as well as the German (formerly American) cemetery at La Cambe:
The fact that 0 had the nerve to show up is insulting to these brave men.
My Dad was a green replacement in January 1945, but his SSGT told me he landed there in July 1944 and said they were still occasionally getting inbound artillery.
By the way, TAPS played by that American soldier today was without doubt the most beautiful and poignant rendering I have ever heard.
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