66 years

Reprising my June 6, 2006 post. Sadly, I think I was very optimistic about the average person’s memory.

I’m not quite as old as D-Day, but I am pretty clear on the story. I heard bits of it from my father. I spent quite a bit of my own time studying it. They didn’t teach much about it in public schools in the 60’s. I suspect they teach far less now.

I can’t help but wonder if in another 62 years the average person won’t even remember what “Sword”, “Juno”, “Gold”, “Utah”, and “Omaha” signify. If you get your D-Day history from Saving Private Ryan you’ve seen a good movie, but you are abysmally ignorant of actual history. You could not have named those beaches.

Here’s a D-Day logistics synopsis, amazing on its own, followed by reading recommendations –

Just after midnight on June 6, 1944, 1,200 transport planes and 700 gliders delivered over 23,000 American and British paratroops behind the German coastal defense in Normandy.

At dawn, 4,000 transports and 800 warships, plus innumerable smaller craft, began an amphibious assault that landed 130,000 soldiers at beaches code-named Sword, Juno, Gold, Utah, and Omaha.

These names will live as long as mankind studies military theory.

We are not likely to see anything so audacious, so necessary, and so clearly understood by Western civilization ever again.

In remembrance of the men who died at Sword, Juno, Gold, Utah, and Omaha – the soldiers who died there defending the West against totalitarianism – I offer some further reading:

From Encyclopedia Britannica:

D-Day on the Web

You’ve already paid for this PBS info, check it out.

D-Day Museum

American D-Day

And happy birthday to my Grandson, who may have less trouble remembering this when he grows up. I’ll be working on that.