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D-Day - June 6, 1944


cfake3.jpgJune 6, 2017 (Tuesday)

D-Day, June 6, 1944, is a day to be remembered. I remember when my stepmother woke me up on that day, she reported that it was D-Day, that the allies had invaded the beaches of France. It was expected. We all knew it would be "any day now," and finally it came.


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After the war, all the publicity concerning D-Day on its anniversary was dismissed by those who had served in North Africa, where the allies fought the Axis powers. Fighting in North Africa started with the Italian declaration of war on June 10, 1940, four years before D-Day. The British and exiles from German-occupied European countries opposed them. The Americans joined them on May 11, 1942, two years before D-Day.

The Pacific War began on 7/8 December 1941, when Japan invaded Thailand and attacked the British possessions of Malaya, Singapore, and Hong Kong as well as the United States military bases in Hawaii, Wake Island, Guam and the Philippines. This phase of WW2 went on for 3 1/2 years before D-Day in France. After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese won many victories for six months until the tide turned, and the Allies ultimately defeated Japan.

On this anniversary of D-Day, let us relay to you what the website of the History Channel tells us about this event:

"On the morning of June 5, 1944, U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of Allied forces in Europe gave the go-ahead for Operation Overlord, the largest amphibious military operation in history. On his orders, 6,000 landing craft, ships and other vessels carrying 176,000 troops began to leave England for the trip to France. That night, 822 aircraft filled with parachutists headed for drop zones in Normandy. An additional 13,000 aircraft were mobilized to provide air cover and support for the invasion.

"By dawn on June 6, 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground; the land invasions began at 6:30 a.m. The British and Canadians overcame light opposition to capture Gold, Juno and Sword beaches; so did the Americans at Utah. The task was much tougher at Omaha beach, however, where 2,000 troops were lost and it was only through the tenacity and quick-wittedness of troops on the ground that the objective was achieved. By day's end, 155,000 Allied troops-Americans, British and Canadians-had successfully stormed Normandy's beaches.

"By the end of June, the Allies had 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy and were poised to continue their march across Europe.

"The heroism and bravery displayed by troops from the Allied countries on D-Day has served as inspiration for several films, most famously The Longest Day (1962) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). It was also depicted in the HBO mini-series Band of Brothers (2001).
(Quotations from History Channel website)."

Millions (16.1 million) of Americans served in the armed forces during WW2. Worldwide, the estimated number of people serving was 1.9 billion. Sobering statistics:

Estimated number of U.S. soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines killed in battle during World War II: 292,000
... of U.S. troops who perished outside of battle during World War II: 114,000
... of U.S. troops wounded during World War II: 672,000
... of deaths, in total, sustained by U.S. forces during World War II: 405,000
... of U.S. military deaths as a percent of the total United States population: 0.4%

Estimated number of deaths sustained worldwide during World War II: 72 million.

On this anniversary of D-Day, let us pause to remember the awesome cost of war in terms of human suffering and death, and resolve to pray for peace and for the peacemakers of this world.

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