Friday, June 6, 2014

No matter how many years have passed...

The following is a post from former Governor and Free Congress President Jim Gilmore:

"Seventy years ago today the Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy.
There are no official casualty figures from D-Day, but according to the D-Day Museum in Portsmouth, UK the British, American and Canadian forces participating in the invasion are believed to have suffered roughly 10,000 casualties including 2,500 deaths. However, recent work by the U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation has verified the names of 4,413 Allied soldiers who died participating in Operation Overlord, including 2,499 Americans. Somewhere between 4,000 and 9,000 German soldiers died on June 6, 1944. Though estimates for D-Day specifically are not available, 15,000 to 20,000 French civilians died in the build up to and during the Normandy campaign.

But after all of those numbers, just imagine one person, a single American GI waiting for that ramp of his Higgins Boat to drop on Omaha Beach, a British pilot crossing the channel to provide air support, a French mother trying to find shelter for her children from the Naval bombardment, and even a German soldier - one of maybe 10,000 in Normandy - looking out at the beaches as 156,000 Allied soldiers advanced.

It is easy to get lost in the scale of D-Day, in the historical importance of the event, but these were real people, just like you and me, facing truly extraordinary circumstances. How would we have fared in that moment?

Today we commemorate that day, the bravery of those who fought, the significance of the event, but 70 years past it is hard to remember the individuals who where there, who stared down history. Let's remember them for one more year."

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