The Times West Virginian


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.”

Text Only
  • 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.

    July 24, 2014

  • 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Too many taking too few steps to protect selves from skin cancer

    July 22, 2014

  • 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.

    July 20, 2014

  • COLUMN: Are we people watchers or people judgers?

    Let me tell you about my little friend Robby. Well, actually, it’s more about his family and especially his mom. I didn’t get her name. I heard Robby’s name quite a bit, though, during a trip home from Birmingham, Alabama.
    I noticed the family in the Birmingham airport immediately. They were just the kind of family you’d notice.

    July 20, 2014

  • Relish the rich bounty of state’s diverse, unique food traditions

    This week, a group of federal officials on a three-day culinary tour of the state visited the Greenbrier Valley to find out what most of us here already know — we have a rich food tradition in West Virginia.
    The group was made up of officials from the Appalachian Regional Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

    July 18, 2014

  • Soup Opera in need of your support again this time of year

    It’s happening again.
    It usually always happens about this time each year. Sometimes it’s a little earlier and sometimes a little later.
    But Soup Opera executive director Shelia Tennant knows it will come — usually in July. And she’s never that surprised about it.

    July 17, 2014

  • County honors men who gave all in helping their community

    The next time you’re driving in the Rivesville area, you might notice new signs on two of the area’s bridges.
    Those signs, which bear the names of Alex Angelino and Denzil O. Lockard, were unveiled Saturday in honor of the men whose names they display, two men who died while serving their communities.
    The bridge on U.S. 19 over Paw Paw Creek was named to honor Lockard, while the bridge on U.S. 19 over Pharaoh Run Creek was named to honor Angelino. Lockard, a former Rivesville police chief, died in 1958 at the age of 48 while directing traffic. Angelino, a Rivesville firefighter, died at the age of 43 of a heart attack while fighting a fire in 1966.

    July 16, 2014

  • State must learn to keep costs down and perform more efficiently on less

    The West Virginia state government began its budget year last Tuesday with a small surplus of $40 million — less than 1 percent of its annual tax revenues — thanks only to dipping into its savings.
    Let’s not do that again.

    July 15, 2014

  • Long-range vision with transportation has been made to be thing of proud past

    Last week’s closure of Fairmont’s Fourth Street Bridge is a symbol of a problem that must be fixed.
    The United States should be proud of the vision its leaders once displayed to address the country’s transportation needs.
    Back in 1954, for example, President Dwight D. Eisenhower announced his goal of an interstate highway system — something that transformed the country.

    July 13, 2014

Featured Ads
NDN Politics
House Ads