“You are about to embark upon the great crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you…I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.” ~ General & former President, Dwight D. Eisenhower
Today is the anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1944. The price of liberty on that day alone should forever live in the memories of all Americans, whether they are citizens by birth or naturalization.
Never take freedom for granted.
God bless our Veterans, our military, and all those who put their lives on the line for the freedoms we enjoy. We cannot even comprehend the sacrifices our military make for us and our country.
Official Unit Report, Company A, 116th Infantry, 29th Division June 6 1944 [More information at D-Day Revisited]
It seemed to the men that the only way to get ashore was to dive head first in and swim clear of the fire that was striking the boats. But, as they hit the water, their heavy equipment dragged them down and soon they were struggling to keep afloat. Some were hit in the water and wounded. Some drowned then and there… but some moved safely through the bullet fire to the sand and then, finding they could not hold there, went back in to the water and used it as cover, only their heads sticking out.
“Those who survived kept moving with the tide, sheltering at times behind underwater obstacles and in this way they finally made their landings. Within ten minutes of the ramps being lowered, Company A had become inert, leaderless and almost incapable of action. Every officer and Sergeant had been killed or wounded. It became a struggle for survival and rescue.
“The men in the water pushed wounded men ashore, and those who had reached the sands crawled back into the water pulling others to land to save them from drowning, in many cases only to see the rescued men wounded again or to be hit themselves. Within twenty minutes of striking the beach Company A had ceased to be an assault company and had become a forlorn little rescue party bent upon survival and saving lives.”
The following video from the Army.mil website details the events of the day from someone who was there:
Two of the most popular songs from 1944 were Till Then and I’ll Be Seeing You.
Till Then– beautiful but some never made it back to hear it:
I’ll be seeing you – Jimmy Durante – a wonderful version. I’ll be looking at the moon but I’ll be seeing you…
The top 10 films of 1944 were The Uninvited, To Have and Have Not, Since You Went Away, National Velvet, Murder My Sweet, Meet Me in St. Louis, Lifeboat, Laura, Jane Eyre, Ivan the Terrible, Hail the Conquering Hero, Henry V, Going My Way, Gaslight, Double Indemnity, Arsenic and Old Lace.
The movie, Going My Way, won the 17th Oscar for Best Picture. It probably wouldn’t even be made today. It starred Bing Crosby and is the heartwarming story of a young charming & liberal priest Father Chuck O’Malley (Bing Crosby) who works in a poor New York slum Catholic parish – St. Dominic’s Church. He seeks to win over his strict, loveable, but crusty, conservative old parish priest Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) and to teach a group of street kids responsibility and respect. The movie was followed by the sequel, The Bells of St. Mary’s (1945). [Just so you know, when they use the words “gay priest,” they mean “cheerful and carefree.”
1944 was a leap year. It marked the 1st feature-length foreign movie, African Journey, shown on TV in NYC; 1st use of helicopters during warfare (British Atlantic patrol); Ralph Bunche appointed 1st Black official in US State Department; Batman and Robin appears in newspapers for the first time; Louis Armstrong makes his appearance; Wendell Wilkie enters the presidential race; 1st female U.S. navy captain, Sue Dauser of nurse corps, appointed; 1st Jews transported from Athens arrive at Auschwitz…Read more at History orb
The next video is amazing – an 8th grader’s project – it traces the events leading up to and including D-Day