Today is the 72nd anniversary of D-Day – the greatest seaborne invasion in history and an epic day in the American psyche. On D-Day nearly 160,000 allied soldiers crossed the English Channel landing in Normandy to begin the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control. (The Allies had already invaded Italy in 1943 which quickly surrendered quickly.) It was a bloody day, as Allied casualties exceeded 12,000 with at least 4,414 confirmed dead, as depicted in Stephen Spielberg’s “Saving Private Ryan”.
In his speech to the troops, Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower stressed
The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.
From Normandy the allies would advance all the way to Berlin.
You can follow D-Day today and the remainder of the campaign at @, which is “live” tweeting events from 1944. There is a National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Virginia as well as a National World World II Museum in New Orleans.
The other thing to remember that of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, less than 700,000 are alive today.