Saturday, June 6, 2009

D-Day Remembrance

Today marks the 65th anniversary of Operation Overlord or what is commonly known as D-Day. The planning of this massive operation included military from the allied forces and the landing included over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and over 150,000 service men. By the end of the operation, the Allied Forces had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead.

These numbers are mind boggling and can easily become just numbers if we aren’t careful. We are very fortunate that we live very close to the National D-Day Memorial and our visits there have brought home the true meaning of the cost involved.

The memorial has been built to give you a sense of what it was like to be on one of the beaches. There are sculptures of the men as they fought and died trying to manuever across the beach and up the cliffs in order to fight the enemy. Expecting an attack on the beaches, the Germans had built hedgehogs—structures whose sole purpose was to rip apart the bottom of boats if they attempted to reach the beach. The allies were aware of their presence due to the air recons they had been doing. So they were able to avoid these traps by arriving when the water was at low tide.

The memorial is a beautiful tribute to all those who fought for the freedom of others. It is also a reminder that as a nation we have a proud tradition of fighting for the rights of others. But I think it is also important to remember that we were not the sole defenders of this fight.

I thank all those men and women around the world who fought off evil so that we can remain free.

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