“Our son’s, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity” `President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Most of us are familiar with how D-Day operation on June 6,1944 brought together the land, air, sea forces of the allied forces in what became known as the largest amphibious invasion in military history.

The operation delivered five naval assault divisions to the beaches of Normandy, France.

France had fallen to the Nazi’s in only 6 weeks, in 1940 and the D-Day landings marked the start of a campaign to liberate Europe and defeat Germany, freeing the region from Nazi occupations.

This was critical for the U.K, USA and other allies to land substantial forces on mainland Europe. Some 5000 vessels carrying up to 150,000 soldiers stormed five beaches across the coast, supported by 24,000 paratroopers landing behind enemy lines. The operation was given the codename “OVERLORD”. In one day, 10,000 allied casualties and thousands more would follow, fighting the battle of Normandy. The success of the operation in pushing Nazi forces eastward paved the way for the liberation of much of northwest Europe.

The rest of this article is going to focus on some facts that some of us, Americans might not be as familiar with.

* Portsmouth, England, during the second world war, the city was a pivotal embarkation point of D-Day landing and was bombed heavily in the Portsmouth blitz, which resulted in 930 people dying. The city of Portsmouth will host the ministry of defense national commemorative event on Southsea Common in the morning of June 5,2024, British D-Day veterans met for afternoon tea and a formal dinner at the mansion, Southwick House near Portsmouth which served as allied forces forward headquarters for the D-Day beach landing operations. (Southwick House is a Grade ll listed Georgian mansion that was used as the “nerve center” for D-Day.) The event is the largest gathering, as many surviving D-Day Veterans are not well enough to make the journey to Normandy for the 80th anniversary.( As of 2023, only a few thousands D-Day veterans are still alive today, an estimated, about 100 British D-Day veterans are alive,)

Supreme allied Commander, General Dwight Eisenhower (That is how they referred to him in England back in the Era.) and Commander of the allied forces, General Benard Montgomery made the monumental call to launch D-Day from Southwick House. (June 3,2024 D-Day veterans gathered in what is now named the “Eisenhower room”, where the final decisions were made

. * Why is it is called Omaha Beach? It was suggested by U.S. Army Field Commander, Omar Bradly, as two privates, fitting out his London headquarters, were from Omaha, Nebraska (Gayle Eyler) and the other was from Utah (His identity is still not known only that he was from Utah,)

* On June 6, the 80th anniversary, the British Ministry of Defense and Royal Legion will host the British National Commemorative event at the British-Normandy Memorial in Ver-Sur-Mer, France. King Charles lll, spoke, “Lets commit ourselves to always remember, honor and cherish those who served that day and to live up to freedoms they died for by balancing rights and civic responsibilities.” He also said, “Let us pray such a sacrifice need never be made again to our country (United Kingdom).

United States of American, President Joe Biden spoke from Normandy -American Cemetery to invited dignitaries and veterans, he stated, “History tells us freedom is not free, you want to know the price of freedom, come here to Normandy to look.” (Normandy-American Cemetery and Memorial in France is located in Colleville-Sur-Mer, it contains the graves of 9,388 of our military dead. On the walls of the missing, in a semi-circular garden on the eastside of the memorial are inscribed 1,557 names. A loggia at each end containing large maps and narratives of military operations and a bronze statue “Spirit of American Youth, rising from the waves”, is in the center.)

Quick Facts:

29,000 killed, 106,000 wounded and missing- Britanica.com.

According to the US National D-Day Memorial Foundation, they have uncovered more accurate figures; 4,415 allied personnel killed on D-Day, these include 2,502 Americans, 1,449 British, 391 Canadians, and 73 from other allied countries.

Using new studies, for the first time, we can forensically analyze the chances of survival. As 2000 paratroopers faced 345,000 bullets, across an area of sky covering 9 square miles, the chances of survival were 1 in 4. But 50% of men survived. Discovery Channel.com

THE WATCH; for twenty years (80 years for D-Day) the sailor stood the watch. While some of us were in our bunks at night, the sailor stood the watch. While some of us were in school learning our trade, the shipmate stood the watch. Yes… even before some of us were born into this world, the shipmate stood the watch. In those years when the storm clouds of war were seen brewing on the horizon of history this shipmate stood the watch. Many times, he would cast an eye ashore and see family standing there needing his guidance and help, needing that hand to hold during those hard times, but he still stood the watch. For 20 years (80 years for D-Day veterans) he stood the watch so that we, our families and our fellow countrymen could sleep soundly in safety, each and every night knowing that a sailor stood the watch. Today we are here to say ” D-Day veterans” the watch stand relieved. Relieved by those you have trained, guided, and led. D-Day Veteran you stands relieved…. WE HAVE THE WATCH. Adapted from William Whiting– The Watch.

Colleen Strong, NWCA National Media Coordinator

CREDIT: abmc.gov. Blesma.org. Gov.UK. Sky news. Britanica.com. U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation. Discovery Channel. Photo credits: Kari Lynn Pascoe, NWCA National VP Darlene Carpenter, Christine O’Shields and her daughter Shiana. It’s with great appreciation on the use of your personal photographs.

Share This
    Your Cart
    Your cart is empty