Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day, 68 Years Ago Today

68 years ago today, 160,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy. Along with 24,000 paratroopers dropped into the area a few hours earlier, they began the final invasion of the European continent.

Omaha Beach was the most restricted and most heavily defended of the invasion beaches. One of the units landing on that beach that day was the 29th Infantry Division — the Blue and Gray Division. The division included National Guardsmen from the Virginia and Maryland area, and men who were not yet in the Army when the 29th shipped out to England.

Maybe today would be a good day for a movie that includes the Normandy invasion. A good one that provides a good sense what the landing felt like (according to one of the men who was there) is Saving Private Ryan. (When the movie ends, consider that all its action took place in just one week.)

Today would also be a good day to read the day's commemorations at Blackfive, specifically this and this and this, and to consider how terribly high the stakes were on D-Day in 1944.

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