6/6/44

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D-Day is one of those incredibly easy dates to remember: 6/6/44. (Plus it's conveniently the same both for Americans, who do this illogical thing of going Month/Day/Year, and Europeans, who go Day/Month/Year, smallest measure to largest.) I always do remember it, not only because it's easy, but because (as I mention every so often) I have this thing for military history.

I choke up over D-Day. I am vehemently opposed to wars of aggression like the US's nasty war in Iraq, but the heroic assault by the Allied Forces on the shores of Nazi-occupied France--that gets me where I live. I honor and admire the sacrifice that happened on those beaches in Normandy 65 years ago today. Particularly since it was barely the beginning of the end: eleven months would pass before Germany's unconditional surrender and V-E Day proclaimed on May 8, 1945.

I always observe D-Day, which isn't to say that I celebrate it; I just, well, watch it. I watch its approach on the calendar; I watch its hours pass; I watch night fall and I note that fact that when I wake up the next day, D-Day is over, even though the invasion of those beaches in Normandy would not be completed, in some cases, for days.

The US Army has a website commemorating D-Day, and of course there are books and movies devoted to D-Day as well. I think I might watch The Longest Day this afternoon.

2 Comments

Thanks for posting this, Holly. Observing the day is precisely what I think needs to be done. There has been some kerfuffle here because Sarkozy (premier in France) failed to invite HRH Elizabeth II -- which, because everything else that is going so desperately wrong in Britain right now is the fault of our PM is also Gordon Brown's fault. Luckily, and presumably at the urging of Obama, Prince Charles got an invite and went over.

Which all proved a sad distraction from exactly what you suggest needs to be observed. I saw a wonderful photo -- can't find it now or I'd link to it here -- of a veteran of D-Day -- he must be nearly 85 years old -- walking on Normandy Beach, alone in his thoughts. Observing.

There are no good wars. There's just lots of pain, and some people brave enough to try to figure out how to make it stop. Thank you again for observing.

Hi Matt--

I'm glad this resonated with you. I read about Sarkozy's snub of Queen Elizabeth--given that she is one of the very few heads of state in the world who actually served in World War II, it seemed both rude and stupid not to include her.

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This page contains a single entry by Holly published on June 6, 2009 9:57 AM.

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