Monday, June 05, 2006

D-Day Plus 62 Years

On June 6, 1944, the allied invasion of Europe kicked off in a big way. Some 200,000 allied soldiers, sailors and airmen participated in the airborne assault and beach landing, and the beginning of the end of the German war machine was at hand. The forerunners of the most elite units of our modern military claimed major successes that day, including Army Rangers, Special Forces, Paratroopers, Pathfinders and Scouts, and Navy Seabees and Frogmen...today known as the SEALs. The incredible feats of these units have become...and continue to be..the stuff of legend. A legend that grows every day. (See D-Day: The American Experience).

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.

3 Comments:

Blogger WebKittyn said...

Bravo!

That was a touching and thought provoking post, thank you for that.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Tara said...

I came here from a link at Blackfive and I've bookmarked your site.

Thanks for a beautiful tribute to our brave men and women of the US military.

Thak you for honoring them with this post.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Papa Ray said...

If your as good a Cop as you are a writer, the people you serve are in good hands.

Continue the Mission.

Papa Ray
West Texas
USA

6:56 PM  

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