Something More Important than Books

NormandySupply_edit

Today is the 70th anniversary of something, do you know what it is? I hope so, if not, well whatever.

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day. Please tell me you at least know the very basic premise of what happened now that I’ve said that. It was the start of the Allied invasion of France via the beaches of Normandy on June 6, 1944 during World War II. I believe it is still to this day the largest amphibious invasion in history.

You’re probably wondering why I decided to post about this and not something about books today. I’m doing so because there are some events that we need not forget. Who doesn’t know about Lexington and Concord? Or Independence Day. Or Gettysburg. Or President Lincoln’s assassination. Or Pearl Harbor. Or September 11. As far as American history is concerned, the events that took place on the dates I’ve mentioned are as unforgettable as it gets. And there are others, but the point is that no one really considers D-Day to be one of these dates that should never go unknown to any generation.

If you’re one of those people who doesn’t know what happened that day or maybe you’ve never even heard the date, then I ask that you do one thing that will give you just a little perspective. Take a look at this map of Nazi Germany. Just about the whole of Continental Europe is under their control.

WWII War Map

Imagine that. A single foreign power having the ability to take over an entire continent, and Europe at that. The thing that people may not realize is that had just a couple of events gone differently during the course of the war, if Churchill had surrendered rather than watch London destroyed day after day, or Hitler had sent his men into Moscow to take over the capital rather than into Stalingrad in an apparent ego trip, then who knows what might have come next. If you know a little about the war like I do, then you know Churchill never surrendered even with London in ruins and the Red Army was able to stop Germany’s advance once the cold Russian winter hit. Had these two events played out differently and Hitler faced no more resistance in Europe, then an invasion of America would be inevitable. You’re probably thinking Pearl Harbor happened. That wasn’t an invasion. That was an attack with a very specific purpose, destroy the Pacific fleet.

But this post isn’t meant to be a history lesson because I know some of you will already know all of this. The invasion of France on D-day only happened because the Allies decided that Stalin had to become their ally if the war was to be won. According to what I’ve read, he agreed to help the Allies with Japan while the Allies agreed to help him with Germany, thus the invasion of German occupied France. This was the turning point of all turning points in any war. The invasion would not be called off and massive casualties were expected, but it was either this or let Hitler run wild and do whatever he wanted.

Very long story short, the invasion was successful and the Allies made their way across Europe over the course of the next ten months, ultimately ending the war with Germany. And of course the war with Japan a few months later by dropping the first and only nuclear bombs in history.

Now you might be wondering why I believe you all should know about this. Because it’s an historic event in the course of all human history, not just for Germany or France or the UK or the United States, but for everyone. The world would no doubt be a different place had the invasion been unsuccessful. It would have been a debilitating loss for the Allies that may not have allowed for another attempt to enter continental Europe for years into the future.

One last point that I want to make for you guys. Have you ever taken a look at the list of federal holidays? If not, you can do so here. You’ll find that there are only two holidays that are religious, right? Christmas and Thanksgiving. These should not be included on the list and should be on the list of other religious holidays that are recognized by the government, but not necessarily federal holidays. Why? Because what about the whole separation of church and State? But I guess it doesn’t apply to major Christian holidays. Anyway, these should be taken off the list and three should be added. June 6, September 11, and December 7. D-Day, the terrorist attacks on 9/11, and the day a foreign power attacked America. Every one of these dates represents a moment in our nation’s history that should not be forgotten.

I’ve read that the most accurate depiction of what took place on the beaches of Normandy may be the opening sequence from the movie Saving Private Ryan. Skip to the 5:00 mark and it’ll put you at the start of the fighting. I warn you, it’s graphic.

Photo Credits: Do You Know About

Wikipedia

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47 thoughts on “Something More Important than Books

  1. Thanks for keeing it real! Most of the generation who were actually aware of what was going on at the time, are gone, but it is so important for us to all remember.

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    • I know. The 18-year-olds who were there are at least 87-88 now and those older likely gone. But I know so many people don’t even think of this day as important or don’t know it at all.

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  2. My grandpa is retired air force and my dad builds Air Force aircraft for Boeing. We’ve always taken note of when these dates are. When my brother got his Eagle Scout he had his flag he got flown in DC on December 7th for Pearl Harbor day. I believe they flew it at half mass. I agree more of these holidays that helped our country keep and protect it’s independence should be observed or at least mentioned on a calendar.

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  3. Thanks for this. If we don’t our history, we’re only bound to repeat it. And we don’t want that at all…

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    • Absolutely right. The sad thing is that I’m sure there are millions of Americans who don’t even know about today. Excluding those too young to know, but those who don’t take an interest in history who were taught about it in maybe one high school class and never again.

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  4. Thanks for posting this. My wife has an Uncle who is still alive and kicking and in great health. He stormed the beaches on D-Day. He will not talk about it to this day. He will talk about the trip across the Atlantic and what happened right up to the moments before the engaged the enemy but he stops there. I was only able to appreciate his reluctance, and I mean really appreciate, when I saw that oh so terrifying scene from Saving Private Ryan. My wife and I have many relatives who fought, and died, in both world wars, and it always heartening to see someone who I don’t really expect to remember and acknowledge these important events do so.

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    • Wow. I don’t think I could even ask about it knowing the very little that I know. All I can say is that there are people society looks up to because of wealth or fame or whatever it may be, and then are people like your wife’s uncle who are far beyond the definition of a hero.

      As for the movie clip, the thing for me is that the real thing had to be worse. The movie focuses on a small group of men, when I mentioned above that it is the largest amphibious invasion ever. That would mean wave after wave of soldiers hitting the beach. I hope I never have to see something like that happen during my lifetime. And I don’t mean just Americans. No country should have to do what the Allies did in terms of knowing that the loss of life would be astronomical, but literally having no choice but to continue.

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      • What I like about the clip is that it was the first time the true terror of what was happening was depicted. Yes, the real thing could only have been much worse. but this was also a generation that simply put their heads down and did what they asked and did what they had to do. I don’t think we could do another Allied beach assault like that today because we don’t have any more men like Uncle Val. We may have a few but not nearly enough.

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      • I agree with every word of that. I went to school with a lot of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan. I’m not going to sit here and say that those men and women aren’t a hundred times more brave or courageous or patriotic than I’ll ever be, but I know a few personally who up and joined the military because they weren’t going to college or were going through some difficulties. The men of that era simply had a different mindset and love for their country that few people know today.

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      • You are wise beyond your years.

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      • Thank you. I’m just glad that I’m not the only one who recognizes that yes, there are some bad things and people in the world today, but the world we know is incredibly safer and more secure than the one that existed just seven decades ago. Or the one from just 100 years ago. People tend to think that these things happened SO long ago, when their mothers or fathers or grandparents likely lived through one or both world wars.

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  5. I enjoyed reading this. I also agree that the additional dates you mentioned should be added to momentous dates that bring us together, but most importantly of all, help us to remember that there is a price for ‘freedom’.

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  6. Thank you for posting about this. This anniversary has been on my mind for days and I think it’s wonderful when someone writes a really good post about it. I tip my hat to you.

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    • Thank you. For the time being, I’ll forget that we disagree on everything else. πŸ˜‰

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      • Oh stop, we don’t disagree on everything… and look, there I just disagreed with you. Lol. Well at least you didn’t write a post about DonutDay πŸ˜›

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      • Yes we do. πŸ™‚ see! I don’t know what that is.

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      • It’s some Bing headline with a hashtag. I don’t even care, so it’s like no big deal. I really wish there was a June 6th day of remembrance or a national holiday. I totally agree with the three you listed. And people forget all the time.

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      • I’ve seen one tweet about today. One. I haven’t watched the news but I bet there’s little to no mention of the date if the president isn’t making a speech or doing a moment of silence somewhere.

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      • This is a BIG deal in Canada. News channels have been airing the ceremony live all day.

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      • I just put on CNN and they were talking about jobs. Oh well.

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      • Well, to be fair, Canada went into World War One and Two fighting way above our weight class. In terms of population proportion our losses, and the subsequent effect of those losses, has been a major factor in carving out out identity as a nation. November 11 (Remembrance Day) and pretty much any significant anniversary is a big deal here and it is something I love about this country. But America did make Saving Private Ryan and that goes a long way in my books.

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      • But still, I just hope there was something today that I just missed.

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      • Most people just don’t care. I know of one news station it would or will be mentioned on, but no, people just don’t care. And yours and my generation really don’t care. But it’s not just them. One of our most important wars and victory just forgotten. It bother’s me.

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  7. I’m glad to know that you care too. πŸ˜›

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  8. Last night I watched a movie called The Longest Day, it was made in 1952 set in WWII at the invasion of Normandy. No CGI back then, so I couldn’t help thinking how realistic it would have been for the actors. They would have taken a great appreciation for the soldiers from their experience. The actors were all big stars, John Wayne, Sean Connery, Robert Mitchum, Robert Wagner, Red Buttons the list went on. i don’t think all of them were well known then as they were very young, so it was interesting in that light as well. Nice post πŸ™‚

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    • That’s actually the other movie, and I think it might be based off a book, that everyone says is as real as it gets. I just used Saving Private Ryan because I’ve seen it more times than I can count.

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      • In the credits it said it was based on the book, so you’re right. i had never heard of it until last night. Sometimes i live with my head in the sand. I love Saving Private Ryan, agreed very realistic. Have you ever seen the Australian movie Gallipoli. It was made in the 80’s i think. Anyway, i loved it.

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      • I actually think a history class innhigh may have shown it. But back then I was more concerned with sleep and didn’t watch. Or maybe it was on TV. Either way, haven’t seen it. I definitely know what happened in real life, though.

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      • I’m thinking of letting my boys watch it, but I might have to rewatch just in case there were scenes, that might be too disturbing. i remember I cried, and that i had a huge crush on Mel Gibson afterwards ( excuse -he was very young then).

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      • I assume he was in it?

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      • * belly laughing* yes.

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      • Good. Cause that would have been odd to just throw him into the conversation for no reason. Haha

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Such an important day in the UK, as well. I’m moved by your post. Thanks, John.

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