IT HAS BEEN 72 YEARS SINCE THE "LONGEST DAY"
Preparations for the 2014 ceremonies. Photo : U.S.Defense Video & Imagery distribution System
We are a bit lost for words on this anniversary but our pal Vic Socotra is rarely lost for words and wrote on this day two years ago the following:
"It is the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Europe, and the beginning of the end of Adolph Hitler’s domination of Europe. There are still veterans alive who were there, and some of them have returned to the beaches where they landed, and changed the course of history.
The Presidents of the United States and the Russian Federation are there to join Francoise Hollande of France to commemorate the greatest invasion from the sea ever attempted. I have mentioned the contributions of intelligence to the war in the Pacific- and it is worth a note that the incredible advantage of the ULTRA program to decrypt German military communications gave the Allies."
Vic has published a unique personal account of one contribution to the battle by one member of his own family's "Greatest Generation: Find it at www.vicsocotra.com
HERE ARE SO PHOTOS OF THE ACTUAL EVENT COURTESY THE ARMY HISTORICAL CENTER:
Jeeps being loaded on landing craft in England prior to the assault on the beaches of Normandy.
An ambulance being loaded in England
AMERICAN TROOPS MARCHING THROUGH AN ENGLISH TOWN ON THEIR WAY TO THE LANDING CRAFT.
Embarked American Troops awaiting signal to invade the continent.
The U.S. Coast Guard lands Company E , 16th Infantry at Omaha Beach at the start of "The Longest Day"
Some boats didn't make it to the beach yet some survivors of sunk landing craft did gain the beach and joined the fight.
Eventually the "Greatest generation took the beaches and moved inland, the liberation of Europe from the Nazi had gained unstoppable momentum thanks to the incredible sacrifices of an entire generation of American, British, Canadian, and other allied forces. Without this victory the World would have entered a dark age of Nazi dominion. What followed hasn't exactly been peace, but it hasn't been nuclear holocaust, or a dark age exactly except serially in isolated spots like the Sudan where hanging Christians is becoming alarmingly common and conducted by a government whose own constitutions supposedly assures religious freedom, Syria where the government cheerfully has used chemical weapons on its own unhappy population, Iran run by mad men. Groups of mad men still dream of taking over the world. But no one has ever come as close as Nazi Germany and on this day 70 years ago the whole world not already under their jack boot stood up and put the Nazis to a bad end. On this day may the remaining and evolving tyrants take a lesson.