Today is the 65th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. I'm 40 years old, so as I grew up in my home in Chicago, when my parents referred to "The War" it was World War 2, not Vietnam or Korea.
The invasion of Normandy was the largest sea assault of its time. A massive air assault took place just before the sea invasion began. According to Wikipedia, 160,000 troops landed that day on the Normandy beaches in France. The numbers are staggering, and although I have not been able to back up his claim, my father told me that the life expectancy of a soldier landing on those beaches was five minutes.
These troops fought and died to battle the hideous ideas of Fascism and Nazism. It was a just war, one of necessity as opposed to choice.
I visited Europe when I was in third grade, but I did not visit the cemetery at Normandy (the American Cemetery at Normandy is pictured.) Thousands upon thousands of Christian Crosses and Stars of David, (forgive my ignorance but I am unaware if there are any Crescents of Islam) stand eternally at attention, marking the graves of Americans that are interred in France, never to be returned to their home soil of the United States. Rarely did I see my dad choked with emotion, but upon seeing the row after row after row of graves, I believe for a time he actually was human.
Reflecting upon the war we are in right now, not the foolish "war on terror" but the real combat situation in Iraq, I have to ask...why?
So, on this anniversary of D-Day, I give a somber thanks to those that fought and died and those that were maimed both physically and mentally to make damn sure we could live in a vastly freer society than Hitler, Hirohito, and Mussolini envisioned.