In response to Hammah29r2's comment:
Hard to believe that it is 70 years ago today that the greatest armada ever gathered at one time hit the beaches of Normandy to start what was the beginning of the end to the war in Europe. Some of those guys were only 18 years old. My dad's bomb group had a mission that day. To all those WW2 veterans I send out my gratitude and deepest respect for what they endured that day. May God bless them all.
There are many estimates of casualties of 5000 dead and 10000-15000 wounded Allied troops at Normandy. I would like to mention that at Okinawa there were 14000 dead and 65000 casualties and Iwo Jima 6800 dead and 26000 casualties, of course these campaigns were one to 2 months long, most were Marines.
I saw at the Museum “6 June 1944 D Day” uniforms, weapons, films etc. One of Normandy’s beaches is called “Arromanches” where an artificial port was created so that 1000s of Allied Forces with heavy equipment could come ashore. Visible today still are the remains of the floating harbor. If anyone goes, you’ll see Nazi bunkers all over but most impressive is “Point du Hoc” where 3 companies of the 2nd Ranger Battalion climbed 100 feet up a vertical cliff with barbed wire at the top & grenades being tossed down on them. I, couldn’t make this climb with nobody above trying to kill me.
I have seen many Military sites in the world, our own Gettysburg, Bastogne, Anzio, Waterloo etc. etc. but none has left me with more of an awe inspiring sensation than to see on about 175 acres the American cemetery on a plateau facing Omaha Beach with as far as the eye can see whites crosses & Stars of David. It was chilling !
It was interesting as we walked around that there was a German tour & I recall the French guide saying that many local innocent French citizens were killed that day in the bombing and it was like she was very angry about it. I mean we had the Nazis believing our main attack was to be at Calais but we had to tell the locals to get out of their houses. Yup, of course, there would have been no sympathizers alerting the Germans to this. To me, this was an acceptable casualty of war.
I got goosebumps reading this:
"THE FINAL INSPECTION"
The Soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.
'Step forward now, Soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To My Church have you been true?'
The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
'no, Lord, I guess I ain't.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.
But, I never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep.
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills just got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept unmanly tears.
I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.
If you've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand.
There was a silence all around the throne,
Where the saints had often trod.
As the Soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.
'Step forward now, you Soldier,
You've borne your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heaven's streets,
You've done your time in Hell.'
It's the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us the freedom of the press.
It's the Soldier, not the poet,
Who has given us the freedom of speech.
It's the Soldier, not the politicians that ensures
Our right to Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.
It's the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag.