No better commemoration than the speech delivered by President Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary:
I always get a kick on how the French refer to it as J-Jour. 🙂
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The Commander in Chief, standing at Attention. Paying his Respects. Unlike Bill (BJ) Clinton and his aide knocking over American Flags for a photo op.
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Or our POtuS having a managed photo-op at Andrews in the middle of the night. Worst part was how insultingly badly it was staged and how the WH just went with it.
President Reagan was the best President of my lifetime. He exuded patriotism, love of country, love for all Americans.
He united America more than any President in my lifetime. Remember when Dems & Repubs joined hands to overwhelmingly elect him in 1980, then took all but 1 state in 1984?
I was so proud that he was our President. He was respected here & around the world. And just look at what we’ve got now…the exact opposite!
How could America have fallen so far from 1988, when an outstanding President Reagan left office, to electing an inept Muslim Racist in 2008? SMH
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Gosh, I miss Ronald Reagan.
every June 6th I promise myself I’m going to watch The Longest Day. Every D-Day I end up watching Saving Private Ryan. The director and that cast just can’t be beat.
Put this on your watch list. One of the best productions:
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The BBC knows how to make a documentary; don’t get much of that on US television anymore.
Tears come to my eyes every time I hear this speech. Grateful tears for the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought there, in honor of their valor. Tears of pride at the words spoken by a true leader of his country. Tears of regret that we have no such leader now, and that the citizens of our once-great country have gone so far astray.
Tears rolled down my face for the full 13 minutes of watching this clip. As you say, tears of pride that we had such a great president, and tears of regret at how badly we need such a president now. Thank you for expressing it so beautifully.
He looks so strong and presidential. Nancy looks perfectly tailored, trim, ladylike, which we’ve seen so little of from our current First “Lady”. I was proud of them and how they represented our country.
This video might just be something you will want to share after watching.
It is staggering to see the visualization of what took place.
I cannot even begin to imagine what was going through the minds of the Rangers that had to scale Pointe de Hoc, or anyone riding in the first landing craft to hit Omaha Beach.
My Dad was in the 101st.
Was that the 101st Airborne ? Am writing a book on my cousin Anthony C. McAuliffe who said NUTS ! tot he Germans …here is my e-mail…write % tell me more about your DAD.
My Dad was in the 103rd infantry, if you’re interested in his narrative. http://www.docdroid.net/11cs9/stephen-l-martin-wwii-narrative.doc.html
They were sent to the Battle of the Bulge, but it was mostly over when they arrived.
that’s what real courage is.
overcoming the fear and the danger, with action.
there is so much to be grateful for, and to respect our soldiers for…but, to me, that intense courage of a soldier always brings tears to my eyes….of pride…in them.
I have been reviewing my father’s copy of the 4th Infantry history compiled by the unit historians. My father never spoke of it until he and I sat down and shared our separate military experiences when he was 95 and I 27 years younger. It is often forgotten that the survivors were also deeply wounded. Major Harmon commanded the 2 battle surgery teams assigned to Utah Beach. His recounting of the landing and the months that followed took a long time and did not come easy to him. The experience of a medic or frontline surgeon is appalling to contemplate.
To all my fellow veterans :: I salute you and grieve, as I am sure you must, the dire straits of our beloved country.
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what a post…the last sentence…!
Thank you for your response.
mighty welcome, Spar Harmon
Just returned from my first visit to Omaha Beach and the American Cemetery. We left some flowers flowers on the grave of a friend’s uncle. This place will bring tears to anyone’s eyes.
On average, 6,500 allied soldiers killed every day, for 77 continuous days, during the Normandy Campaign which began on June 6th and ended August 21st 1944:
6,500 boys. Every day.
6,500 Men. Every day.
6,500 Sons, husbands, brothers, uncles, friends. Every day.
6,500 Heroes. Every day.
For 77 continuous days, 6,500 lost every.single.day.
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Few stories typify the sacrifice at Normandy more than “First Wave On Omaha Beach”
The 29th was a reserve division of soldiers from the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware areas. They reported for summer camp in 1941. During that period the division was elevated from reserve to active duty status. They never came home until after the war was over.
Second, there’s a town in Virginia that lost nearly all its military age young men during the D-Day landings. Could those young men been the men in Able and Baker Co’s whose stories are reported here?
The younger brother of my maternal grandmother, Uncle Richard, was drafted into WWII and subsequently became an Army infantryman assigned to the 29th Infantry Division. On D-Day, he landed on Omaha Beach with the very first wave of landing craft — at age 19. It was his, and practically his entire division’s, first taste of combat after completing basic training and some additional combat tactics training conducted in England just for this mission. Their training and mission, in conjunction with several Army Rangers Companies that landed at the other end of Omaha Beach, was carefully planned and intended to quickly reduce the Nazi’s coastal defenses and allow the larger ships of the follow-up waves to make their landings with many more soldiers and heavy weapons vehicles and equipment. As we well know, things didn’t go so smoothly though. Uncle Richard was considerably wounded on Omaha Beach, hit multiple times by small mortar/shell fragments — and one bullet that zipped clean through the meaty part of the back of his left thigh while belly down and crawling forward, but nothing life threatening. He didn’t even know he’d been shot and hit by a bullet until some other soldier he didn’t even know noticed and told him sometime later after they had both found a spot with decent cover to hunker down for a brief respite from the ceaseless hail of artillery, mortars, and bullets. Once the beachhead was secured he convalesced in a tent hospital on the beachhead for three weeks enjoying steaks, coca-colas and the rapt attention of pretty nurses. Then it was back to battling the Nazis across France and then Belgium.
Ultimately, he saw a lot more fierce combat across France and Belgium and went on into Germany reassigned to the 9th Infantry Division as a corporal and was critically wounded by a German Stuka dive-bomber at the Battle of Remagen and for Remagen’s Ludendorff Bridge crossing over the Rhine about 6 months after returning to full combat duty. Just two days before the battle of Remagen concluded with allied victory and the allies crossing the Rhine to establish their bridgehead on the German’s side. Two men he was with were killed and the force of the bomb blast literally blew him clear into the air and hitting the ground about 25 yards from their position leaving him with broken bones, peppered with chunks of shrapnel, and gravely injured from head to toe with his leg(s), again, taking the brunt of it. He was left unconscious for three days and, in a muddy tent on the shore of the Rhine river in Germany, Army doctors had to drill a hole into his skull with a hand-cranked drill to relieve the fluids pressure on his brain. After surviving long enough to regain consciousness thanks to the efforts of the valiant Army doctors, he was then medevaced to a hospital ship, taken to England, and then quickly flown back home stateside where he convalesced and endured multiple surgeries and grueling physical therapy for 13 more months. Over a year of physical rehab. As a result of the 13 months physical therapy which included copious weightlifting, Uncle Dick became a body builder and weightlifting instructor, and he helped many other wounded warriors in their physical recoveries post-hospital. After his Army discharge in August 1946, he attended Michigan State University eventually earning dual degrees in architecture and structural engineering. He had enjoyed drafting during his senior year in highschool, which is where he was just a couple of years earlier, so he decided he’d become an architect with assistance from the GI Bill. He later went on to marry, have two children, and eventually open his own international architectural firm that subsequently made him a multimillionaire.
Uncle Richard passed away in 2005 after a fatal heart attack at age 80. Having previously never left his hometown in Michigan before WWII, as a teenager he first traveled to Europe as a warrior, traveled much more of the world during his working years and after he sold his highly successful firm to his employees and retired, and he eventually took that journey returning him to Omaha Beach, France, Belgium and Germany to revisit some of the past of his youth — a short time in his life that seemed like an eternity to him and which he often referred to as “beyond surreal” and “otherworldly” whenever he actually talked about his WWII experience which was a rare moment indeed. He made that particular journey only once in his life after WWII.
Uncle Richard was also a Ronald Reagan fan. I remember when I turned 18 and was eligible to vote in the 1980 elections, and Uncle Richard told me that Ronald Reagan was definitely going to win and be President (well, Ronnie did run against Jimmy Carter — so it wasn’t a stretch), Ronald Regan would be President for two terms, and that we’d see massive changes for the better in the USA and across the world while he’s in the White House. All of which came true… and lasted for a little while anyway.
RIP Uncle Richard. RIP WWII and all Vets departed far too soon. RIP Ronald Reagan.
A heritage to be proud of
Thank You Sundance…
Yesterday I just found out that My Uncle a Ranger in WWII suffered from nightmares..He was with some of the troops that freed the camps…all these years and I never knew..
We cannot forget…
I am trying to get my cousin to write some of these memories down before they are gone.
In honor of the day [reposted from the Open Thread]. Several links and some summary comments by the blogger– “What does D-Day mean to Christians in particular?” –which I found particularly appropos:
Ronald Reagan’s 40th anniversary D-Day speech: the boys of Pointe du Hoc
My Uncle Tom was there on D Day. He piloted the boats that transferred the men from ship to shore. Said he was very proud that he delivered all his men to shore intact. His guys were killed by the Germans, not us. I guess there were some pretty inexperienced guys driving those boats and many men didn’t even make it to the beach.
The worst days were after the invasion, picking all the dead out of the water.
Thank you to all who serve and have served. It breaks my heart that this awesome country is crumbling. God help us.
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