Claremore Daily Progress

Our View

June 6, 2014

D-Day heroes are never forgotten

CLAREMORE —

Without a second thought, they answered the call to serve.
It was in their DNA to volunteer their lives in the cause of freedom.
Bakers, factory workers, teachers — from all walks of life — they put on the uniform and travelled an ocean away to push back and defeat tyranny.
Today, we know them as our great-grandfathers, grandfathers, maybe even our fathers, who went to war and won the battle.
We acknowledge their sacrifice of family, occupation and their lives on this 70th anniversary of D-Day.
It was on June 6, 1944 when 156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers landed on five beaches along the French coastline. The 50-mile stretch of coastline were heavily fortified by the Germans.
At the time, it was and remains the largest amphibious assault in history. The Allies planned and planned for the invasion that led to the liberation of northern France by August 1944.  By spring of the next year the Germans had been defeated.
Originally, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower had selected June 5, 1944 as the date for the invasion, but bad weather forced them to delay after consulting with a meteorologist.
It was a massive assault. For those of us not yet born, we’ve seen photographs. We’ve experience Hollywood’s interpretation of the event. 
In speaking with some of my older friends, the first 20 minutes of the film — Saving Private Ryan — comes closest to the actual atmosphere of how our soldier charged the beaches amid heavy shelling and machine gun fire. Those who were not wounded or killed made it to inclines and took those fortified positions.
When they returned after the war, the stories of heroism were kept deep inside. Our veterans saw no need to tell of their war exploits. It was a matter of honor. There was no need to boast about their accomplishments. It was what was required. It was their time to serve. It was the right thing to do.

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