The Times West Virginian

Opinion

June 6, 2013

D-Day reminder of ‘great and noble undertaking’ made during World War II

It was nearly 70 years ago that Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower was offering the following words to soldiers, sailors and airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force:

“You are about to embark upon a great crusade. ... The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. ... Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, (and) he will fight savagely.”

Eisenhower, who later went on to become the 34th president of the United States, was serving as the supreme commander of the Allied Forces in Europe during World War II.

The day was June 6, 1944, and the mission was to “bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”

It’s been 69 years since Allied troops landed along the 50-mile stretch of coast­line to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France.

That day — which became known as D-Day — was a day of great loss in terms of life for not only this nation, but other countries that sent soldiers as part of the Allied troops. With 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft, more than 150,000 soldiers fought to gain a foothold in Normandy.

By the end of the gruesome day of fighting, 9,000 soldiers had been killed or wounded, but the rest had begun their march across Europe to defeat Adolf Hitler, the founder and leader of the Nazi Party.

As the soldiers set out on their mission, Eisenhower reminded them that the operation was a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.”

The crusade, horrific as it was, marked the beginning of the end of World War II, and each of the men involved was fulfilling his duty to serve, fighting for his country, fighting for freedom and fighting for basic human rights.

Today, on the anniversary of the battle, cer­emonies will take place across the country in remembrance of the brave men who gave their lives on D-Day. Names will be read, plaques will be dedicated and wreaths will be placed on graves.

A memorial service at the National D-Day Memorial in particular will pay tribute to those soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice in Normandy, and honor the veterans who lived to fight another day.

Regardless of where the services take place, each will serve as yet another reminder of the heroics of the brave men who served during World War II and took on what Eisenhower described as “a great and noble undertaking.”

As then-president George W. Bush said during the dedication of the D-Day Memorial, “... We pray that our country will always be worthy of the courage that delivered us from evil and saved the free world.”

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay

    Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.

    April 20, 2014

  • The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings

    During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.

    April 20, 2014

  • Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated

    Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
    During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.

    April 18, 2014

  • Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives

    A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
    Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
    The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.

    April 17, 2014

  • State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary

    Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
    For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
    Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.

    April 16, 2014

  • Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better

    When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
    So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.

    April 13, 2014

  • COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable

    Instant.
    That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
    But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
    Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!

    April 13, 2014

  • Decision to be an organ donor can save lives

    Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
    So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.

    April 11, 2014

  • Volunteers continue to have priceless impact on community

    Chances are, you know someone who volunteers. Perhaps you’re a volunteer yourself.
    Marion County is full of volunteers.
    They read to our youth.
    They assist nonprofit agencies.
    They serve on boards and committees.
    And in 2013, they spent a day picking up nearly 10 tons of garbage that had been tossed out on public property around Marion County.

    April 10, 2014

  • Proposed school calendar lives up to letter and spirit of law

    West Virginia state law requires that students be in a classroom for 180 days.

    April 9, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads