June 6, 1944
It’s been said, “Freedom isn’t free.” The Normandy Invasion, commonly called DDay, signaled the beginning
of the end of Nazi tyranny and freedom in Europe. Of those who fought there, few remain to tell their stories. It is fitting that we continue to honor their sacrifices and heroism.
Allied forces consisting of American, British and Canadian troops made up the main invasion force of over 160,000 ground combatants. Allied Navy and merchants ships numbered more than 5,000. Ships provided transportation and gunfire support during the invasion. At midnight before the amphibious assault, Allied Aircraft and gliders inserted almost 8,000 paratroopers behind enemy lines. This represented the largest armada and invasion force in history. Weather and timing were critical to the success of the mission, so was deception. It had taken nearly five years to reach this point in a war that began in September, 1939 with the invasion of Poland by Nazi forces. This truly was the start of the liberation of Europe. Total Allied casualties were approximately 12,000; again, freedom isn’t free. At Pointe du Hoc, German 155mm guns threatened assaults on Utah and Omaha beaches.
There’s a Texas connection to the Normandy invasion that can’t be ignored. I am quoting an article from the Texas State Historical Association about the Second Ranger Battalion commander, James Earl Rudder. This battalion played a pivotal role in success at Omaha and Utah Beaches:
Rudder’s Rangers fight with distinction on Normandy beaches
great feats of arms of the Normandy invasion. Rudder, a native of Eden, Texas, had served in the army in the 1930s and was recalled to duty during World War II. He became commander and trainer of the elite Second Ranger Battalion in 1943. On D-day Rudder’s Rangers stormed the beach at Pointe du Hoc and, under constant enemy fire, scaled 100-foot cliffs to reach and destroy German gun batteries. The battalion suffered higher than 50 percent casualties, and Rudder himself was wounded twice. In spite of this, he and his men helped establish a beachhead for the Allied forces. In later life Rudder became president of Texas A&M. In 1967 he received the Distinguished Service Medal from President Lyndon Johnson.
Ronald Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day
Delivered at Pointe du Hoc Youtube Video, Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84
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11 responses to “76th Anniversary of D-Day, the Normandy Invasion— A Day to Remember”
A great post Rich. Some debts can only be honoured, never repaid.
Thank you, TJames!
You are absolutely correct. I need to find some Churchill quotes.
Did a paper once on his post Dunkirk address.
Great article Rich. The Texas connection is interesting. Lest we Forget. Kudos for posting.
Thank you, Sandy!
I knew there would be many general articles but I knew there had to be on and turned to the TSTA and found the Day in History story.
Thanks for taking the time to remind us of the great price these brave men paid 68 years ago today. The U.S. suffered over 416,000 military dead and several times that number wounded during WWII, many of these were teenagers. We must never forget the price they paid.
Thank you for your comments.
Appreciate the reminder of the price they paid.
No one should ever forget!
Thanks for this article and the reminder about today, like others said, that we should honor the veterans and never forget the price they paid.
As an aside, you know I’m a WWII junkie & I actually saw a reenactment of the invasion when I lived in Ohio. Granted it was just to give you a flavor of what it was like, but still it was amazing to me the courage that it took for soldiers to get off the boats against those odds.
You’re welcome and I couldn’t agree more. Emotions well up in me when I think about what they went through. For me, the shot through the ramp of the LCVP landing craft say it all knowing full well what’s on the other side.
That reenactment must have been chilling.
Again, thank you so much for your support of veterans!
Reblogged this on Rich Weatherly – Author and commented:
Re-Blog of a tribute to those whose heroism and sacrifices lead the way to the defeat of Nazi Germany and helped us ensure freedom in the western hemisphere.
It’s been said, “Freedom isn’t free.” The Normandy Invasion, commonly called D-Day, signaled the beginning of the end of Nazi tyranny and the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. Of those who fought there, few remain to tell their stories. It is fitting that we continue to honor their sacrifices and heroism.
Agreed with a previous comment above Richard. Some debts can only be honoured and never repaid. God bless all those her fought the great fight. A wonderful post 🙂
Thank you, Dawn.
We are all indebted to them for their sacrifices.