Honoring the Legacy of D-Day: 80 Years of Courage and Sacrifice

The 80th Anniversary was both extraordinary and unique. It was the largest celebration ever, which was consistent in honoring the largest single-day operation in our civilization’s history.

Normandy has a draw that cuts across all ethnicity, national and cultural lines. There is a visceral recognition by all that Normandy is unique and what occurred 80 years ago is well worth honoring today.

Normandy is as much a spirit as a thing. On 6 June 1944, the Allies launched the largest single-day operation in the history of our civilization. Not only did it coalesce the might of our Nations, but it also focused on the deep core spirit that embodies what we are all about.

French Square Normandy
Town Square with troops at the STOP Bar. Photo courtesy of the author.

With more than 5 thousand Allied forces killed that day and thousands more wounded, we paid in blood to rebirth what we are all about. The five separate beaches held the best our Nations had to offer, with the participants deeply appreciative and aware of the purpose of their endeavor. By 0430, there were 140,000 men afloat in Higgins boats bound for those beaches in supremely confined space. Seasick and sea-soaked in 50-degree temperature, they debarked to hell on earth to face the strongest foe they had ever encountered.

Gripping the wet sand, they bled, died, and re-took the land so long occupied by a cruel and implacable enemy.

They returned France to its honor and rightful place among Nations. And in so doing, they paid in blood the price of retaining and nurturing Liberty.

Normandy: A Testament to Unity and Valor

Earlier, beginning at approximately 2230 English Double Daylight Savings Time, the Airborne Pathfinders took off from myriad bases throughout England to coalesce in support of five small patches of Occupied France.