D Day 70: A Remembrance

Activiteiten-70-jaar-D-Day1

 

All of the real heroes are not storybook combat fighters, either. Every single man in this Army plays a vital role. Don’t ever let up. Don’t ever think that your job is unimportant. Every man has a job to do and he must do it. Every man is a vital link in the great chain…Every man does his job. Every man serves the whole. Every department, every unit, is important in the vast scheme of this war.” General George Patton’s address to the Third Army on June 5, 1944 http://www.5ad.org/Patton_speech.htm

Who were these 150,000 men who stormed the sulphurous beaches and parachuted into the German held territory of the French coast? They were American, British, Canadian, Polish, French, Greek, Czech, Belgian, Australian, Norwegian, Dutch, and Kiwis-young, middle age and old.

There was no Captain America to lead these brave souls. They were men in a foreign land, except the French, fighting for a cause of liberation from tyranny.

Many died on the beaches and behind the German lines. The D-Day causalities were over 10,000 for the Allies forces. The German causalities are estimated in the thousands since accurate records were not kept.

On the eve of the great invasion, General Sir Bernard Montgomery, commander of the ground forces, sent a note to the troops:

1. The time has come to deal the enemy a terrific blow in Western Europe.

The blow will be struck by the combined sea, land and air forces of the Allies – together constituting one great Allied team, under the supreme command of General Eisenhower.

“2. On the eve of this great adventure I send my best wishes to every soldier in the Allied team.

To us is given the honour of striking a blow for freedom which will live in history, and in better days that lie ahead men will speak with pride of our doings. We have a great and righteous cause.

Let us pray that ‘The Lord Mighty in Battle’ will go forth with our armies, and that His special providence will aid us in the struggle.

“3. I want every soldier to know that I have complete confidence in the successful outcome of the operations that we are now about to begin.

With stout hearts, and with enthusiasm for the contest, let us go forward to victory.

“4. And, as we enter the battle, let us recall the words of a famous soldier spoken many years ago: —

He either fears his fate too much
Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch,
To gain or lose it all.

“5. Good luck to each one of you. And good hunting on the main land of Europe.”

The words of the Scottish poet James Graham are quoted above. The full poem is listed below.

As this generation of men fade from this planet traversing the cosmos, let’s remember their sacrifice and these words from 1984:

You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you…” Ronald Reagan On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day June 6, 1984.

G. D. Williams © 2014

POST 555

References:
D-Day 70
https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/d-day-70

D-Day Museum
http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/ddayanniversary

Southwick Village

1901917_692529010803995_1261310300051726027_n
https://www.facebook.com/SouthwickVillagedday70th
http://www.southwickdday70.co.uk/

The National D-Day Memorial

70th.trans_backgrnd_copy1
http://www.dday.org/70th-anniversary-events

THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY AND THE BATTLE OF NORMANDY

From June 5th to August 21st 2014, Normandy will be celebrating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy with due splendor and emotion. This year’s anniversary will be a time of national and international contemplation and communion. Traditionally, annual commemorations of the Landings of June 6th 1944 have always been major events for Basse-Normandie, all the more so on the occasions of quinquennial and decennial anniversaries, where the international aspect is especially prominent. And because this will likely be the last decennial anniversary to take place in the presence of actors in and witnesses to those momentous events, it will be a particularly special occasion; welcoming a still large number of the remaining men and women who act as guardians of this “living memory” – probably for the last time and in celebration of a great anniversary – will indeed be cause for heartfelt emotion.
The anniversary will also provide a fitting opportunity for transmission of memory and the sharing of those fundamental values for which so many young men were willing to make the supreme sacrifice: peace, freedom, brotherhood and the dignity of humankind.
http://www.normandiememoire.com/en/content/view/id-107-70th-anniversary-d-day-normandy

Map Image On Top
http://www.saintmanvieunorrey.fr/d-day.html

D-Day Questions & Answers
http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/d-day/d-day-and-the-battle-of-normandy-your-questions-answered

Ronald Reagan On the 40th Anniversary of D-Day June 6, 1984

http://www.historyplace.com/speeches/reagan-d-day.htm

James Graham (25 October 1612 – 21 May 1650 / Scotland)

My dear and only Love, I pray
That little world of thee
Be govern’d by no other sway
Than purest monarchy;
For if confusion have a part
(Which virtuous souls abhor),
And hold a synod in thine heart,
I’ll never love thee more.

Like Alexander I will reign,
And I will reign alone;
My thoughts did evermore disdain
A rival on my throne.
He either fears his fate too much,
Or his deserts are small,
That dares not put it to the touch,
To gain or lose it all.

And in the empire of thine heart,
Where I should solely be,
If others do pretend a part
Or dare to vie with me,
Or if Committees thou erect,
And go on such a score,
I’ll laugh and sing at thy neglect,
And never love thee more.

But if thou wilt prove faithful then,
And constant of thy word,
I’ll make thee glorious by my pen
And famous by my sword;
I’ll serve thee in such noble ways
Was never heard before;
I’ll crown and deck thee all with bays,
And love thee more and more.

http://bcw-project.org/biography/james-graham-marquis-of-montrose

 

Scottish D-Day Heroes Commemorated

Many of the 2,500 British and Canadian casualties on 6 June were sappers, commandos, tank crews, glider troops, paratroopers, signallers and gunners. The infantry also played a vital role, and were followed onto the beaches by drivers of support vehicles of all kinds.

http://www.scotland.org/news/scottish-d-day-heroes-commemorated/

Captain James Doohan

The Canadians crossed a minefield laid for tanks; the soldiers weren’t heavy enough to detonate the bombs, the AP story continued. At 11:30 that night, Doohan — a pilot and captain in the Royal Candian Artillery Regiment — was machine-gunned, taking six hits. One bullet blew off his middle right finger, four struck his leg and one hit him in the chest. A silver cigarette case stopped the bullet to the chest.

http://www.startrek.com/article/remembering-d-day-hero-james-doohan

 

 

Advertisements