“Soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force. You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
This was the message was transmitted by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Expeditionary Forces, to the brave men who were preparing to storm the beaches at Normandy in a drive to puncture Nazi defenses on the European mainland on June 6, 1944.
Codenamed “Operation Neptune,” a nod to the Roman god of the sea, the assault was, and is still, the largest amphibious invasion in world history, comprised of more than 150,000 American, British, Canadian and Free French forces.
The successful invasion forced Nazi Germany to fight the war on two fronts, draining resources and ending the war on the European front less than a year later.
Today marks the 68th anniversary of that massive assault to take back Europe from the Nazis. Many Americans lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, and they are buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach.
As you go about your day, working, tweeting, or whatever it is you’re doing, remember these men who sacrificed everything to free Europe from Nazi Germany. Many of them were just boys, barely 18.
They were from small towns and big cities. They were brothers, sons, husbands, and fathers. And when their country needed them, they were soldiers.
Pause for just a moment to consider their sacrifice today.
Pause for just a moment to consider their sacrifice today