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  • #649853
    skippy1965 Cynthia
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    Registered On: August 25, 2015
    Topics: 119
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    In three days we will commemorate the 78th anniversary of D-Day, June 6,1944, the greatest amphibious assault ever attempted. While ALL military operations are dangerous and heroic, landings such as these are < to me, the most extreme example of placing one’s country ahead of one’s self. The soldiers that day came from all the Allied forces. The beaches were Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and (the bloodiest of all) Omaha. The Germans had fortified the entire French coast with their Atlantic Wall. Over 150,000 soldiers landed that day facing withering fire. Within five days, 326,000 Allied troops had landed.

    The estimates for expected casualties were horrific. (Eisenhower had even penned a letter (thankfully never needed) which in the event the invasion failed said “Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air, and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame attaches to the attempt, it is mine alone”).

    The landings on Omaha beach were the worst, and were the basis for the early scenes in the film Saving
    Private Ryan. Back in 2017, I posted the below article telling the story of one company in the first boats in the first wave. As we remember the men and women who took part that day, let us thank those cut down in their youth that the rest of us in the free world could remain free.
    Cyn

    Remembering Normandy
    June 6, 2017 at 12:53 pm #56745

    It was 73 years ago today that hundreds of thousands of young men (boys really) climbed down
    the cargo nets into the landing craft and sallied forth to the beaches of Normandy to begin the
    liberation of Europe. Names previous unknown-Utah, Gold, Juno, Sword, bloody Omaha,
    Pointe-du-Hoc, St Lo – became bloody battlefields and later shrines to the memory of those who
    made the ultimate a sacrifice at the prime of their lives that others might be free. I feel a lump in
    my throats and the burning of tears as I contemplate what those young men might have
    accomplished in life had they not been cut short that day. And the heart wrenching pain of the
    families back home as they were notified that their sons, husbands, and fathers would not be
    coming home (and also the wives and daughters as there were nurses that perished as well).
    One of the hardest hit communities was here in Virginia. “The Boys of Bedford” Companh A of
    the 116th Regiment of the 29th Onfantry were on some of the first boats on the first wave to hit
    Omaha Beach that windswept gray Morning. 35 young men from a town of 3000 people began
    their war that day-19 died in the first five minutes! And 3 more during the battling through the
    bocage hedgerows of Normandy. 22 men from one small town made the ultimate sacrifice ( and
    overall of the 230 men in the company, only 18 men were unhurt by the end of the day.
    22 deaths from one small town of 3000-about one of every 135 people. That would be
    comparable to my local county of 300,000 people losing over 2200! Bedford is now the home of
    the National D-Day museum and well worth a visit if you get a chance.

    You can read more about the Boys of Bedford by googling that name. I’ll finish this post with
    two things. The first is a quote from the movie “the Bridges of Toko-aria” that paraphrased the
    thoughts of myself and many others- “Where so we get such men?•. The other will follow my
    sign off below-a poem written by the surviving twin brother of one of the 22 men who died in
    Normandy.

    In loving memory of those we lost then and in all the wars,
    Cyn

    Twin brother farewell
    I’ll never forget that morning
    It was the sixth of June
    I said farewell to brother
    Didn’t think it would be so soon

    I had prayed for our future
    That wonderful place called home
    But a sinners prayer wasn’t answered
    Now I’ll have to go home alone

    Oh brother I think of you
    All through the sleepless night
    Dear Lord, he took you from me
    And I can’t believe it was right

    This world is so unfriendly
    To kill now is a sin
    To walk that long narrow road
    It can’t be done without him

    Dear Mother, I know your worries
    This is an awful fight
    To lose my only twin brother
    And suffer the rest of my life

    Now fellows take my warning
    Believe it from start to end
    If you ever have a twin brother
    Don’t go to the battle with him

    (This poem now rests on the walls of Roy Stevens’ Bedford home)

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    • #649973
      Marg Produe
      Lady
      Registered On: March 16, 2022
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      Thank you so much Cyn for posting this remembrance.  My dad went in on Omaha and continued at the front lines with Patton until the end of the war.  Then he would never talk about it until near death when I promised that I would return for him and visit the cemetery to pay respects to his friends.  My wife and I were able to do that just before Covid hit.   It was important to make things right for him.   Marg

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      • #649988
        skippy1965 Cynthia
        Ambassador
        Registered On: August 25, 2015
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        Marg, what an incredible honor and
        privilege to do that for your dad andhis comrades. I would love to be able to visit there one day. Meanwhile I can go to the WW2 monument in DC and the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery to honor those in the Greatest Generation who gave their all for the rest of us.
        Cyn

    • #649972
      Eileen Bach
      Baroness
      Registered On: February 27, 2021
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      Wonderful post, Cynthia! Indeed, where do we get such men? Lamenting the loss of life cut short, but if not for that successful invasion, what would the world be like today?

      Sacrifice for the greater good is a concept lost on most of today’s generation. The average age of those men was 18-24. I’m in awe of their bravery that day and every other battle of war or conflict that has kept this Country safe.

      Eileen

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      • #649978
        Michelle McQueen
        Lady
        Registered On: June 14, 2021
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        Wars are fought by young men started by old men… sigh.

    • #649908
      Celeste Starre
      Lady
      Registered On: June 26, 2018
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      It’s a good to reminder of what war is.   The death of a lot of good young men due to the stupidity of a few old men.

    • #649905
      Suzanne Martin
      Hostess
      Registered On: January 8, 2020
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      Cynthia –

      Thank you for posting this, it is a good reminder of the sacrifices that were made that day and the impact it had on many live’s.  I hope that the sacrifices made by our young men and women throughout the years are not forgotten and itis realized that we have what we do today because of their sacrifice.

      XOXO
      Suzanne

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