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D-DAY: June 6, 1944

June 6, 2017

On the night of June 5, l944, Allied forces made their final preparations for the D-Day invasion early the next morning. And military commanders knew that even if things went as hoped, thousands of men would die in the difficult days ahead. How did they decide who would be in the front lines of the landing? Through a lottery. And just as predicted, while the Allies ultimately took the beaches, those in the front lines were slaughtered in tremendous numbers.

On this night, General Eisenhower did as he often did — he went walking among his enlisted men. “Are you scared, soldier?” he would often say to them. “Yes, Sir,” responded most, many of whom had covered their faces with war paint. Eisenhower would often tell them that the trick was to just keep moving.

In hindsight, of course we know the Allied forces were ultimately victorious. But remember — on that night in l944, our leaders didn’t know what would occur. They did know Hitler thought the Allies would be landing in Calais, and that they’d better hurry before he had a chance to realize they were at Normandy. So when Eisenhower heard from his meteorologist that on the morning of June 6 around dawn there would be enough light to allow for the landing but enough darkness to still provide some cover, he simply said, “Okay, let’s go.”

160,000 Allied soldiers participated in the D-Day Invasion. It is estimated that 4,413 of them died. One can only imagine the energy, the courage, the fear, and the prayers that were uttered on that night, this night, in l944.

There are countless articles and books and films that cover the D-Day invasion, and with the Internet anyone can easily read its history. I think it’s right that we should do so – to remember, to commemorate, and to thank the souls of the great men and women who gave so much of themselves — in so many cases, their very lives — to help defeat an awful evil on that day.

Several years ago I visited the beaches at Normandy, where barges still rest in the water along the coastline. It was one of the most moving, haunting experiences of my life and I will never forget it. On this night, may we all remember.

Once the invasion had begun, Roosevelt led his nation in prayer. http://www.history.com/speeches/franklin-d-roosevelt-delivers-d-day-prayer. There is no doubt that he meant every word from the bottom of his heart.

  • Sari Mabbett

    My neighbor was one of those that landed at Normandy. He was 86 (and I was 40) when we moved into the neighborhood and we were gardening buddies and he didn’t mind if our cat visited his yard for a potty break. He had been engaged to a woman prior to the war and came home so emotionally damaged that he was unable to go thru with the marriage. When I met him he was still single. One day in my garden we talked about the war and he began to cry and said that even after all these years he still hadn’t actually spoken of that day and would not, as he planned to carry the horribleness to his grave. War is such a crazy thing that we humans do.

  • Karl Gary

    Sad part is, after WW1, American companies like Ford, Standard Oil, and General Electric built the industrial infrastructure that Hitler used against the world. America was the industrial might and helped Germany build those weapons. Perhaps after the horrors of WW1, American industrial leaders should have lobbied for laws that make it illegal for emerging technology to be used as a weapon, and made war illegal, forcing diplomacy.

    Just has the profit center must be removed from healthcare, the profit center must be removed from weapon manufacturing.

    Every war America experiences is a reflection of our own violence that we like to build. Thank you – you giant conglomerates for building us a safe world after WW1. WW2 was ultimately a product of America.

  • peter forrrest

    M.. you are a very special soul who is not just beautiful but priceless,when it comes to the impact you have on so many souls..i have been to the Normandy Beaches ,it is as you have described ..i had a sense that the landing had created a spiritual vortex,you could sense the event.

  • eggontoast

    And, Karl, the people who invoke the wars never get directly involved – them or their families. They hide behind exemption for whatever reason.

  • Karl Gary

    Exactly eggontoast, you bet they hide their families from war. Poor people fight most wars now.

  • Jeffrey Rose

    Thank you, Marianne for commenting on D-Day. I have often felt blessed by the decisions Eisenhower and others made to ultimately keep the world safe from Hitler. I wonder if Eisenhower prayed and thought that his prayers were answered.
    I currently am reading your book The Gift of Change. Once I discover an author I connect with I like to read all of the works he/she has written. This book was written in 2004 and parallels can be drawn from what we were going through politically with 911 then and what we are going through now with threats from North Korea. The more things change the more they stay the same?
    I especially enjoy the asterisks you supply in the book where a direct reference can be made from what you write and what ACIM says. Thank you. I appreciate that! I was wondering if you have made available the location of the ACIM thoughts in the book for those of us who are new to ACIM?

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