D DAY

Please take a second to remember that 18 year old kid who was in one of the ships coming into Omaha Beach.  Remember how seasick he was from the horrible turbulence that day, remember how they opened the ship ‘doors’ and were shot dead, either him or the guy in front of him.  If he made it, he knew he’d have to jump in to take the beach, like a salmon swimming against a river of bullets.  He jumped in past his buddy drowning in sea water and the blood of  hundreds of others.   He was scared to death but had adrenalin pumping through his body.   He was in it, finally in it, why he’d enlisted as soon as he was old enough, though he’d wanted to go when Pearl Harbor was hit.

He probably didn’t make it, but maybe he did.

Think of the kids who never did, the thousands who died.  Just think about how they never had Thanksgiving dinner at home with their families again, never helped with the lights on the Christmas tree ever again, never had a burger and a Coke again,  never had his dog jump into his arms again, never got to college, never saw his friends again, never had sex.

Remember D Day and the AMAZING things those boys did that day.

God bless them all.

Z

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26 Responses to D DAY

  1. Mal says:

    I’m old enough to remember a lot of ’em, Z, and have never forgotten them.

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  2. geeez2014 says:

    Mal, you remember a lot of those who fought? And died? SO so SO sad.
    And I hate to break the spell here, but picture the 18 yr old PUNKS who need safe rooms because TRUMP was painted outside their dorm building. oh, my.

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  3. bocopro says:

    Those were the days of true patriotism, honor, code, integrity, loyalty, brotherhood . . . all those things so distant and foreign to so many people today. I salute the greatest generation, and not only the troops in North Africa and Italy and Normandy, but Rosie the Riveter and the countless women who did what had always been considered men’s work to free them up, including the WAVES, WACS, and other noncombatants.

    And as I’ve said before in many places, very likely here as well, I have the greatest respect for those guys who trudged through the malaria-infested swamps and jungles throughout the Pacific on K-rats, often without fresh water, usually without adequate medical support, to root out a fanatic entrenched enemy who considered dying for his emperor more important than anything else.

    Same goes for those guys who rode those tin cans, without fresh food, without decent-tasting water, without clean clothes, without air conditioning, through ice fields, through typhoons, through seas infested with enemy submarines, into swarms of airplanes piloted by fanatics intent on taking out as many Americans as possible in suicide missions.

    And I salute the Britons who lived on thin rations, thin fuel, thin hope, with a surplus only of Luftwaffe planes and buzzbombs and V-2s, barely escaping with their lives because the monomaniacal Fuhrer couldn’t wait to attack Russia for his liebensraum, the decision that doomed him more than Pearl Harbor. (Winning the war in Europe without Russia would’ve been MUCH more costly, if even feasible.)

    Tough guys, tough people, tough times. We owe them all more than we can compute. I just hope we don’t surrender to the moon god and his people without a fight.

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  4. geeez2014 says:

    bocopro, my husband was born and raised in Germany. The French, believe it or not, donated land to the Germans where they could bury their dead after that war. Normandy is gorgeous, green lawns, ocean in the background, white crosses and stars of David….sculptures, some trees overhanging the cliffs to the water.
    The German cemetery is beautiful, too…dark green grass, dark brown markers and red roses blooming everywhere. What hit me hard was the sign over the gates of this cemetery:

    “HERE LIE GERMAN SOLDIERS MANY OF WHOM DID NOT PICK THE CAUSE OR THE FIGHT”

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  5. Imp says:

    Let’s never forget the more unmentioned and forgotten job our Marines did in the hell hole island jungles of the Pacific….and kids like Chuck Tatum and Eugene “Sledge Hammer” Sledge who turned memoirs into unforgettable books to remind us how the Japs were 10x’s more cruel and murderous than the Germans or Italians. The 10’s of thousands who also struggled to fight Japs to the last man through embedded caves and underground tunnels that were impervious to air or naval bombardment. Guadalcanal, Iwo Jima or Okinawa.

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  6. geeez2014 says:

    Imp…right, but I picked Normandy to zero in on ONE KID…one kid who literally looked death in the face. I’ve been in the German bunkers and looked through the long thin ‘window’ into which they put their rifles and shot..and shot. At US. I think it’s powerful to consider that ONE KID…

    But, yes….the Pacific, too…Bataan death march,etc.
    I just heard Mark Levin’s father or granddad was at Iwo Jima, I think? His 18 yr old dad enlisted and his 34 yr old relative on the other side enlisted. They all made it.

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  7. Imp says:

    The war in the Pacific would have gone on and on…had the Marines not landed and captured the islands as stepping stones to be able to close in on Japan through aerial bombardment….and thus Fat Man and Little Boy were dropped from the bays of a B29 thus eradicating Hiroshima and 3 days later Nagasaki…finally ending the war.

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  8. My dad was one of those kids. My friend Nate was older.

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  9. geeez2014 says:

    The image I have on my post, it just occurred to me, is the last image many of our kids ever, ever saw…the backs of helmets before they were let out into the water…and the bullets.

    Thanks to your dad, Ed.

    Imp: And there are so many who think it was wrong…I guess they wanted more deaths on both sides? I think it was a hideous thing to do; and the right thing.

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  10. As to the a-bombs. I knew a U-Boat commander stationed in Tokyo and married to a Japanese woman during the war. They both agreed the bomb drops were the best thing to do.

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  11. geeez2014 says:

    Ed, how’d you find that? It’s excellent…that cartoon really says it all….”just there to soak up the bullets” and that IS what they were and they KNEW IT. Astonishing courage. They’d have had to pry my cold hard fingers off anything I could get my hands on on that boat.

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  12. Two of my cousins were at the Normandy Landing that day and the days following — one in the Army, the other in the Navy. Very young! One was 18, the other 19.

    They were unscathed physically, but never the same emotionally. But they both came home, went to college (GI Bill), married, and had their own families.

    Neither ever spoke of what happened on D-Day. Neither every slept through a full night again. Night terrors.

    Both were quite successful in their careers — one as an attorney for the U.S. State Department, the other as a successful businessman who owned two restaurants.

    Both died very young — one at the age of 39 (heart attack), the other at the age of 44 (gunfight over a poker game).

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  13. geeez2014 says:

    AOW….”Gunfight over a poker game?” was their last name EARP? 🙂
    So sad about what happened to them after returning from that living nightmare…how do you get over wading through your friend’s bodies and blood?
    And then to die so young..

    But, they were successful…strong men. thanks for sharing this today.

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  14. Baysider says:

    Sobering. I’ve read Ike’s comments on knowing you are sending so many to certain death. My father-in-law was D-Day+3, but he was at the battalion aid station, the first doctor who saw the casualties. Good post – except one point: these were men.

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  15. geeez2014 says:

    Baysider, these were boys who had their whole lives ahead of them and had barely lived…but MEN, yes…more MAN than most 17 yr olds today.

    I don’t know if you know Elaine MacV…. at CBS but her husband’s 96 and enlisted before Pearl Harbor….only to be told to fly there 4 days after the attacks…amazing to hear him describe what he saw there……..

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  16. Imp says:

    “amazing to hear him describe what he saw there…”

    Just as I can describe to you what our ‘Pearl Harbor’ looked like 3 days after 911?

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  17. geeez2014 says:

    Imp…ya, probably. But the Pearl Harbor thing was so LONG ago and to have an eye witness to the carnage was fascinating….huge ships on their sides, etc. This 96 yr old is a PISTOL.

    Baysider, it sounds like I was correcting you and I didn’t mean to sound that way…they were MEN, tho so young…

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  18. Imp says:

    Z…one day…I would hope against all the odds…I’d make it to 96 and still be able to recount those days…as well as my vivid memories of 11.23.63 too. Our lives in the 20th century are filed with amazing sights and wonders.A century of changes and amazing accomplishments of mankind.

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  19. Kid says:

    I agree with your focus Z. That 18 year old jumping into the fire. Then multiply that by 407,300 dead American military from all causes relating to WWII.

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  20. Kid says:

    If we hadn’t drop the A-bombs, many more Americans would have been killed, and likely most or effectively all of the Japanese since each one was willing to die for the Emperor.

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  21. geeez2014 says:

    Kid…focusing on one helps focus our thoughts on just how awful it was, doesn’t it.
    And, of course, Imp’s right…it wasn’t JUST ONE. sadly.

    And ya, they say many, many more Americans would have been killed.
    Your statement of Japanese willing to die for the Emperor reminds me of Muslims willing to die for allah. And sometimes I wonder if the same…well…………..

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  22. geeez2014 says:

    AND IS HE SMART

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  23. geeez2014 says:

    OMG! Coates is being yelled accusations at and he can’t respond! “Can’t I respond?”..someone on the panel next to him says “..apparently not.” Imagine?
    HORRID things yelled at him, saying he’s going against things he’d said previously, and he can’t respond?

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  24. geeez2014 says:

    “I haven’t read the material but I’ve looked at the news..” this, from a SENATOR questioning the panel.
    He gets his information from THE NEWS?

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  25. Mal says:

    Z, yes. I knew many. When I turned 16 I bought my first car from the father of a 19 year old that was killed on Okinawa. My dad did business with his dad and knew about it. There also were several others I knew at the time who were killed. Everybody at the time either had a relative, friend or someone they knew who was killed. It was a very sad time in our country. That being said, unlike today, we were unified as patriots hell-bent on winning the war.

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