As I've read various books lately that recount the battles and heroes of WWII, I have discovered that the term "D-Day" was applied to all invasions, whether it was the Marines landing on the soft volcanic sand of Iwo Jima, or other Marines landing on the hard coral of Peleliu, any major landing was called "D-Day". But today, we remember the D-Day that comes to everyone's mind when they hear that term: the landing of the Allied Expeditionary Forces on the beaches of Normandy, which took place 70 years ago today.
Movies have been made about that event, from the star-studded 60's classic "The Longest Day", which recounts the events with a romanticised view, to the realistic and shocking film "Saving Private Ryan", that spends its first 15 minutes making the viewer FEEL like they were on that beach. If you read Stephen Ambrose's book "D-Day", you find out how badly the Allied forces (primarily the American forces) botched it, by landing on the wrong beaches, or how they missed their drop zones. But due to the incredible field leadership of the American officers, along with the training the soldiers received, they were able to adapt, and still accomplish the goal: a beachhead landing on French soil. It was tough. It was bloody. But 70 years ago, thousands of men moved onto those beaches, knowing they could face certain death. Many made it all the way through to the end. Many didn't.
Today, on his 70th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion by the Allied Forces, let us not forget what those brave men did, and that their supreme sacrifice did eventually save Europe and the Mediterranean from domination by such a terrible and hateful regime.