The anniversary we observe today is one that will forever live in the soul of America. It was 69 years ago that Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy in northern France, a military operation so massive and kept so secret that it turned the tide of World War II and led to the eventual collapse of Germany’s Nazi empire that had so terrorized Europe in preceding years.
It would become known as D-Day, when 150,000 American, British and Canadian troops commanded by U.S. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower established five beachheads from which they would begin their push to liberate France and the rest of the Europe. In all, the invasion involved 5,000 ships carrying troops and vehicles, 800 planes dropping 13,000 paratroopers, and another 300 planes dropping bombs on German troops defending the beaches.
It was a costly invasion, as there were nearly 10,000 Allied casualties. The worst of the fighting occurred on Omaha Beach, which the Germans had heavily fortified against a potential invasion. It was a horrific scene, as described by famed war correspondent Ernie Pyle, Dana’s native son. After walking the beach the day after the invasion, Pyle wrote in great detail about the “shoreline museum of carnage.” His poignant words still resonate today.
Next year will be a big anniversary — 70 years — and will merit great reflection. But we’ll not wait until then to pause and pay tribute to those who fought and died in that epic battle. Let us never fail to honor their sacrifice.
You can say that again
“I cannot overstate my disgust and disappointment over the continued reports of sexual misconduct in our military. We’ve been talking about the issue for years, and talk is insufficient.”
— Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., during a Senate hearing concerning sexual assault in the U.S. military
Reader poll results
Recently, the Reader Poll at Tribstar.com asked:
Should President Obama fire Attorney General Eric Holder over the most recent controversy involving the Department of Justice?
Results: 375 votes were cast.
• Yes — 297 votes, 78.4 percent
• No — 64 votes, 17.7 percent
• Undecided — 17 votes, 4.53 percent