As many of you know, today is the anniversary of D-Day. The Colonel has prepared a short message for the occasion.
Today is the anniversary of the Day of Days.
Sixty-three years ago today, the world stood still in anticipation of the outcome as to whether totalitarian fascism or democracy, slavery or freedom, would rule the world. On the 6th of June, 1944, thousands of American, British, Canadian and other Allied Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Coast Guardsmen launched the greatest land, air and sea invasion that had ever occurred before in the history of mankind.
In June 1944, the coast of France was bristling with forts, gun emplacements, entrenchments, barbed wire, minefields and beach obstacles. A fanatical German Army occupied France and swore that any invasion by the Allies would be crushed and pushed into the sea.
The young men of what has been called the “Greatest Generation” answered the call to duty and parachuted from C-47 Aircraft in the dead of night and rushed machine gun swept beaches from landing craft to crack Hitler’s Fortress Europe.
It was a bitter and bloody fight, but after twenty-four hours of intense combat, the Allies secured the beachheads and the initial and most dramatic part of the Battle for Normandy was won. These twenty-four hours decided the fate of the world, for if the invasion had been lost and the Allied forces beaten on the beaches, the likelihood of many more years of terrible conflict would have been assured. In particular, given one or two more years, the chances of Nazi Germany armed with atomic weapons might have been realized. Such a grievous result for the cause of liberty and humanity is too terrible to contemplate.
So, today, on this Day of Days, the sixty-third anniversary of D-Day, please take a moment to reflect on the liberty and freedom that you enjoy and remember those who fought on D-Day. Remember the heroes of a long-ago generation who stood for freedom, faced evil in the eye and never blinked. We owe them our “today” and I, for one, thank them from the bottom of my heart for their selfless service and sacrifice.
Colonel John Antal, US Army (Ret.)