June 6, 1944, was a day unlike any other in World War II.
Or in any other war, for that matter.
If President Roosevelt described Dec. 7, 1941, as a “day of infamy” — the day the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor — June 6, 1944, was the day that led to the end of the war.
On that day, 70 years ago today, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.
Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation “a crusade in which we will accept nothing less than full victory.”
By day’s end, the Allies gained a foothold in Normandy, but it must be described as a costly invasion. More than 9,000 Americans as well as Allies were either killed or injured.
The Normandy landings, which were code-named Operation Neptune, were the largest seaborne invasion in history. The operation began the invasion of German-occupied western Europe, led to the restoration of the French Republic, and contributed to an Allied victory in the war.
The invasion began by dawn on June 6 as thousands of paratroopers and glider troops were already on the ground behind enemy lines, securing bridges and exit roads. The invasions began at 6:30 a.m. U.S. forces faced heavy resistance at Omaha Beach, where there were more than 2,000 American casualties. However, by day’s end, approximately 156,000 Allied troops had successfully stormed Normandy’s beaches.
According to some estimates, more than 4,000 Allied troops lost their lives in the D-Day invasion, with thousands more wounded or missing.
Less than a week later, the beaches were fully secured and more than 326,000 troops, more than 50,000 vehicles and some 100,000 tons of equipment had landed at Normandy.
The Normandy invasion began to turn the tide against the Nazis. A significant psychological blow, it also prevented German leader Adolf Hitler from sending troops from France to build up his Eastern Front against the advancing Soviets.
The following spring, on May 8, 1945, the Allies formally accepted the unconditional surrender of Nazi Germany. And Hitler? He had committed suicide a week earlier. The war with Japan had ended long before.
That was one military operation, as Gen. Eisenhower promised, that couldn’t fail. It was a place where uncommon courage was a common thing.
The final death toll was 29,000 Americans, with more than 106,000 wounded or missing in action. At the war’s end, 405,399 American military personnel had lost their lives and more than 670,000 were wounded. The total death toll of the war in all countries, both military and civilians, was more than 60 million. That was about 2 1/2 percent of the population of the world at that time.
That is why many Americans always mark the 6th of June on their calendars. It was indeed a day Americans should never forget. That day helped change the course of history.
June 6, 1944, was a day unlike any other in World War II.
If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is
Scam. noun. A confidence game or other fraudulent scheme, especially for making a quick profit; swindle.
This is a word that Marion Countians have heard a lot about in the past few years. And the problem appears to be one that is getting worse every day.
State must convince parents, schools about benefits of Common Core
It’s always nice to have a little bit of background information before diving into something new.
So we have to agree with West Virginia Board of Education president Gayle Manchin when she says the state should have done a better job of explaining Common Core standards when they were first introduced.
Those standards, part of a national educational initiative that sets learning goals designed to prepare students in kindergarten through 12th grade for college and career, will be fully implemented in every West Virginia school district next month.
Time is now for Tomblin to support King Coal Highway
U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., is asking Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to add the King Coal Highway project to West Virginia’s six-year highway improvement plan. It is a logical request, and one that Tomblin should act promptly on.
United effort to keep NASA in Fairmont is essential project
The high-technology sector is obviously vital to the economy of North Central West Virginia.
That’s why a strong, united effort to keep the NASA Independent Verification and Validation Program in Fairmont is absolutely essential.
COLUMN: Calling all readers: Be heard
I love to talk to readers.
I love to hear concerns they have about stories we’ve written, things they think should be included in the newspaper and things they think shouldn’t be.
Korean War veterans are deserving of a memorial
NEEDED: A total of $10,000 for the Korean War Memorial this year.
And a good man has been placed in charge of the funding. Charlie Reese, former president of the Marion County Chamber of Commerce, is now director of the Marion County Development Office. His task was to make a recommendation as to what steps are necessary to keep the project moving.
Roll up your sleeves, give blood and you can save lives
It takes up to 100 units of blood to save the life of someone who sustains life-threatening injuries in a vehicle accident.
We’re hoping that the number of people who come to Fairmont Senior High School on Friday for and American Red Cross blood drive will exceed that amount.
Vehicles and motorcycles must share the road safely
The days are long. The weather is superb. There’s plenty of leisure time in these lazy days of summer.
It’s the perfect time to take a long motorcycle ride.
It’s also the perfect opportunity for us to take the time to remind not only riders but drivers of the need to share the road. And we feel compelled to mention it because just within the month of July, there have been two motorcycle-versus-car accidents within the City of Fairmont alone — one with severe injuries sustained by the motorcyclist and the other with less serious injury.
- Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer
Distracted driving: It isn’t worth fine or a life
Today marks the day that police agencies from six states are joining forces to crack down on one thing — distracted driving.
And they will focus on that traffic violation for a solid week, with the stepped-up effort to curb distracted driving wrapping up on Saturday, July 26.
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- If something seems too good to be true, then assume that it is