76 years ago today, June 6th, 1944, the Allied forces embarked upon Normandy Beach. This was a profound event in terms of correlating the direction of our world at that time. The Allied forces had suffered tremendous loss, be it the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, or the constant bombing of London throughout the war, we had suffered significant blows to our stature as the mightiest militaristic force. Yet, on this irreparable day, we make a profound strike which tilted the outcome of the conflict. The landing on Normandy had given Allied forces the ground game which they had been lacking throughout the duration of the war of humanity itself. This single landing provided us with a clear shot towards the Western front, renowned for its disastrous conditions. From this port, we successfully liberated the German-conquered French province and marched onward to topple Germany itself.
Although history rekindles the positive accolades which resulted of this battle, we cannot overlook the unmistakable tragedy which also accompanied it. Although 4,500-9,000 German soldiers were taken out by our forces, we had lost at least 10,000 of our own men in this interminable endeavor. Each of these men had fallen while serving our nations with unmistakable fortitude. Conditions were brutal: the front lines bombarded with barbed wire and stakes. And yet, these men courageously entered combat which would go on for an additional several weeks. Our nation, as well as our allies, owes a profound debt of gratitude for their service, a debt which cannot ever be equitably repaid. While many of these soldiers would go on to earn medals remarking upon their immeasurable commitment, that simply does not suffice when considering the picture at large.
Without success in our effort to capture Normandy, the outcome of World War II could very well be recorded different in the history books. As I reflected upon earlier, we lacked a ground game on the Western front, which was pivotal in toppling the Axis powers. Germany, Italy, and Japan had struck us and our allies with profound impacts, each reflected upon stringently in historical museums and monuments. Words cannot describe just how critical it was for us to succeed in this battle, and in this war concurrently.
World War II was envisioned by analysts and media pundits to be the “war to end all wars.” As it turns out, that was not the case. Unfortunately, war has proceeded to play a role in our reality up to present day. And yet, no war has yet to surpass the level of ferocity, of inhumane stipulations, or of lasting consequences had the opposition been successful in conquest. Had the Third Reich expanded their dominance throughout the Earth, we would have endured the continuation of the most catastrophic genocide known to man, the oppression of citizens by totalitarian government control, the authoritarian stylist style of rule– dominate the voice of resistance, and the perseverance of fascism.
We must always remember this day. It is the very least we can do to pay tribute to the fallen and those who went on to return home in the years following the war. War is an utterly brutal detriment of human existence, and yet we have preserved. We are still a nation, united as one whole union. We are proud to call the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave. And to that end, we are proud to have fostered the brave who have gone on to represent our nation in the most daunting of ways– on the battlefield in order to ensure that those illustrious principles are granted to the next generation.
– C. Lewis