D-Day Plus 62 Years
It was a battle not won by armor and aircraft, but by the incredible courage and tenacity of the foot soldier, in the face of overwhelming odds and horrific losses. These amazing men free-scaled cliffs under fire, cleared beaches under the noses of the enemy, waded through waist-deep water in the face of withering machinegun and mortar fire, and parachuted in the dark of night through a wall of anti-aircraft lead. It was the foot soldier that won that fight, seizing and holding land amid enemy counterattacks with armor, artillery and reinforced infantry, trading pints of their blood for a few yards of real estate.
It's hard to imagine the courage it took to win that day. How men could move forward in the maelstrom of Omaha Beach is beyond me. I've done a lot in my life, but I wonder if I have ever had such courage. Watch the first half-hour of Saving Private Ryan or Band of Brothers and you can scarcely begin to imagine the hell that those brave men faced and conquered.
What would the world look like today without the D-Day Invasion of June 6, 1944? Would there be a (mostly) unified Europe? Would we still have the friendship and allegiance of England, Canada and Australia? What if we, as Americans, had politicized the war, complained that it was too expensive and too costly, and simply packed up our toys and gone home? People who are much smarter than I am would have to answer those questions, but the world would surely look different today.
What will Iraq look like in 62 years? Will it be the cornerstone of a free and (mostly) unified Middle East? Or will it be a nation of hatred, abuse and terrorism? We feel the pain of the loss of every life in this, and every war. That's what makes us different-and better-then those who fight us. But we must stay the course. We must support our brave men and women who are sacrificing so much, not only for us here at home, but for the very future of our world. And we must win, at all cost.