June 6 marks the 78th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy. D-Day laid the foundation for the Allied victory in Europe, known as V-E Day. That victory, however, came at a great cost.
D-Day, the largest amphibious landing in history, began in the early-morning hours as Allied forces landed in Normandy on the northern coast of France. Operation Overlord, The D-Day invasion, took months of planning and involved some 1,527,000 soldiers in 47 Allied divisions along with 4,400 ships and landing craft, and 11,000 aircraft.
The Germans had approximately 60 divisions spread along France and the Low Countries. U.S. Forces landed on two western beaches, Utah and Omaha, while British and Canadian troops landed farther east on Gold, Juno and Sword beaches.
They dashed ashore, to the beaches in northern France, on that fateful Tuesday in 1944 to liberate Europe from Hitler’s tyranny. By the time the landing on the beaches at Normandy ended, some 150,000 Allied troops and there accompanying vehicles went ashore. The Allies suffered some 15,000 casualties, with 4,400 confirmed killed in action. Freedom comes at a price, and many of those who stormed the beaches at Normandy on June 6, 1944 paid the ultimate price.
On June 6, we should take a moment to reflect on those brave individuals who gave their lives to defend and secure the blessings of liberty and freedom so the evil designs of a maniacal despot would not come to fruition.
John Di Genio