Let's remember it's also the anniversary of D-Day

Yes, I know, 06/06/06, will not happen again for a hundred years…oooh, the end of the world!

Let’s also remember it’s the 62nd anniversary of the invasion of Normandy.

They were 18 and 19 year old boys, and they won a war.

Thank a veteran today while you’re keeping an eye out for The Beast. :slight_smile:

The local paper had a small, 1/4 page article about this… barely details about what happened that day, but a lot of details about veterans gathering to remember it. It was on page 6 or 8 or something. It’s a little sad that the paper felt they didn’t really need to mention it more, or at least have an inset box with some more specific details… maybe they figured everyone already knew?

I’d have to go out of my way to find either a veteran or the Beast today, so I’ll just say my thank-you’s here.

Thank-you, soldiers.

I think that the celebration this year is muted because it’s not a magic year, one ending in a “0”, and the incessant airing of “Band of Brothers” on the History channel.

I, for one, am thankful for the sacrifices they made to free the world on this date.

My in-laws recently visited both the beach and cementary in Normandy and the WWII Memorial in Washington. FIL had some interesting, emotional conversations with visiting vets that he shared with me.

While many never saw it, I’m so glad the Memorial on the National Mall was built in time for some to.

It’s still impossible to watch the movies and documentaries and not simply be in awe of what they faced and overcame. The world would be an umimaginably different place otherwise.

Undying appreciation.

Oddly enough, I recently visited the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, VA. It was really interesting. It kind of struck me as though the designer had said “You know, folk complain about the Vietnam Memorial not be representive enough. Well, they won’t say that about this memorial!” Every iota of the memorial symbolizes something, an there are some distubingly graphic bronzes of death, etc. I thought at first I was hearing a recording of gunfire, but then I realized that they had designed the fountain so that it sounded like gunfire. It was kind of neat, but sort of depressing.The National D-Day Memorial was dedicated 5 years ago.

Mr. Neville’s grandfather was at D-Day. We talk to him a fair bit about it, especially around this time of year. We went to LA to visit him this past weekend.

I am absolutely in awe of him and what he went through. He had a more personal reason to fight than a lot of the men there, too- he’s Jewish, and he had escaped from Germany in the 30s.

So many lives cut short, yet they counted the sacrifice worthwhile. Let us do them proud.

Wow. Can you picture what someone in that situation would be feeling when the ramp went down and it was time to run into the hail of bullets? The war was about a higher purpose, sure…but for me at that time and place it would be time to cash in a few IOU’s.

My father served in the 69th Infantry Division…he missed D-Day itself but shipped over before France fell.

He was dying of brain cancer during the building of the Mall memorial. He wasn’t cognizant enough to talk about it, but sometimes between visits I would go down to the memorial site and watch them build it.

The day he died I left work wandered to the memorial. As I approached the site, one of the large blocks was being lowered by a crane. The workers guiding it into place were out of sight from my angle, hidden behind a wall. But many hands came up from behind that wall, and supported and guided the stone block to its resting place with infinite care.

It was a perfectly symbolic moment.


As troops returned from WWII there was some concern about their mental state and how they would fit into a peaceful environment.

The husband of a high school classmate of mine was one of the Rangers who landed on Omaha Beach with the 29th Infantry Division. He was absolutely the calmest guy I ever saw. Nothing whatever agitated him. Everything else was a piece of cake After his D-Day experience.

Thank you for the reminder. Today is my daughter’s 2nd birthday, and when she is older, I will surely tell her about the day her birthday marks, and about the brave young men who fought and died for freedom.

Mr. Simmons, don’t I remember correctly that you are a veteran of WWII? While we pause this day to remember D-Day, without question our thoughts and appreciation extend to all who served in the conflict, regardless of the period or theater.

Having made a serious post, might I subsequently be forgiven for noting that this is the anniversary of the day the Germans welcomed their new Overlord overlords?


Yes but don’t get carried away. On D-Day I was happily lodged as a pilot-instructor at the Basic Flying Training School at Merced, CA. My combat career was limited and thoroughly undistinguished.

David, you are too modest. you were part of something that was bigger than any one man. While you were not in a Higgens boat, you did serve, and honorably. I am sure that there were times when you were bored, or scared, or lonely just like thoses GIs that went up on the beach 62 years ago.
When I think of what you and the others did all those years ago, it reminds me of the 4th verse of the Star Spangled Banner

Thank you for all that you did all those years ago Mr. Simmons.

It reminds me of a Bugs Bunny cartoon I like- Super-Rabbit.

When Bugs’ super-vitamin-enriched carrots fail him, he says, “This looks like a job for a REAL superman,” ducks into a phone booth, emerges wearing a Marine uniform, and marches off in the direction of a sign pointing to “Berlin, Tokyo, and points East”. They are real supermen, all of them who fought against the evil that was the Nazis and Imperial Japan in WWII.

Mr. Neville’s grandfather hasn’t told us much about how he felt during the D-Day invasion. I’m not sure there are words that could express it.


Every time you think the world is a rotten place, think about Normandy. We gave a continent back to its people.

-Andy Ronney (paraphrased all to heck)

Two years ago, while everyone was watching the Reagan funerary rites, I was trying to scrap up what I could off satellite feeds from the activites at Normandy on the 60th anniversary.

There the old men marched, maybe for the last time? Followed by units of their grandsons and great-grandsons.

Their* “cause was just, and their quarrel honourable…
And those who outlived that day may stand tip-toe when this day is named.”*

Contrary to popular belief, D-Day was not the first successful landing in Europe during WWII… Operations Baytown, Avalanche, and Slapstick.

My Grandad’s brother was killed fighting at Monte Cassino, and my Grandad was so scarred by his experiences there that, to this day, he will not talk about his time in the military during WWII.

Interestingly, not all the beaches at Normandy were like Omaha, with the mass slaughter and the unending hail of machine-gun fire, as seen in Saving Private Ryan- Sword Beach (taken by the British with only 630 casualties out of 29,000 men landed) was relatively lightly defended, as was Juno beach (400 casualties out of 25,000 men landed). The US at Utah beach basically waded ashore to almost no resistance (200 casualties out of 23,000 troops landed).

It was only at Omaha and Juno where there were major, bloody battles- but ultimately it was the beginning of the end of Nazi Europe.

June 6th also happens to be the day when Queensland was established as a seperate colony from New South Wales in 1859, and is subsquently Queensland Day- not that anyone cares. :smiley:

Yes indeed. The 4th Infantry Division lost more troops in a D-Day practice at Slapton Sands* near Plymouth naval base that it did in the Utah Beach assault.

As to D-Day being the beginning of the end for Germany, I don’t think we should forget that the Battle of Stalingrad ended with the surrender of an entire German army in February of 1943. Wikipedia estimates total Axis losses in all branches during the whole battle as 850,000. And the Battle of Kursk ended in August of 1943 with the destruction of much of the German armor in the east. From that point on the Germans were always on the defensive in the east.

Yes, the Normandy landings were a great achievement and an outstanding success in terms of a seaborne landing against a well defended coast. However I think to call it “the beginning of the end” is a bit strong. German friends of mine have told me that they began to lose hope after the surrender at Stalingrad.