Friday, June 5, 2009
D-Day 65th Anniversary
Remember the fallen
June 6, 1944. One of the most recognizable battles in modern history goes down on the shores of Normandy, France. On this day, Allied forces swam across the English Channel and began a campaign to liberate Western Europe from Nazi forces during World World II and begin a long and deadly struggle.
They faced the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile-long concrete bunker, flanked with tank ditches, barbed wire, guns and obstacles, many designed to trap any force trying to cross the wall. Forces like the 175,000 men who washed ashore that day, 50,000 vehicles and 11,000 planes that were deployed to attack against the fortress.
The soldiers were divided among different points of entry, including Omaha Beach and Utah Beach, among a few others.
The fighting continued for months, with immense casualties on both sides. Allied progress was slow, gaining literally yards every day. It wasn’t until July that they had made some small breakthroughs, allowing them to move 40 miles a day.
The landings at Normandy marked the beginning of the fight for Europe, culminating in the liberation of Paris, a cornerstone in defeating Nazi Germany.
However, the D-Day landing did not come without a price. On the first day of combat, an estimated 9,000 soldiers lost their lives. History can better remember and honor their lives with a visual reminder of the chaos and devastation of the day.