D-Day was More Than a Battle

High cliffs, barbed wire and German guns met the troops who stormed Normandy on 6 June 1944. RD Keep Photos

This tribute is in the courtyard of St. Mere-Eglise. Note the street name at the top of the photo.

 


EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the final installment of a series by RD Keep, who attended the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France June 1-10.

NORMANDY, France – More than 15,000 veteran’s, family, students and others stormed the beaches of Normandy in June, not in an assault, but to honor the quarter of a million men who did the same on 6 June 1944 to begin the liberation of Europe.

It was one of the most moving experiences for those who attended. For this writer it was an honor to walk the sandy beaches that was a battleground stained with blood and bullets that ultimately freed the world of Nazi tyranny. It was also an educational experience.

Most consider D-Day an event lasting a few days until the allies were able to gain a foothold in France. In reality it was a bloody 11-week trek that ended with the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944. In less than a year after the first boots made tracks on the sand some of those same boots were kicking own doors in Berlin. Britain’s Winston Churchill and Franklin Delano Roosevelt of the United States hatched the idea of a Normandy invasion during the Trident Conference in Washington in May of 1943.

The trip allowed students and adults to be at the commemoration and on 7 June visit with veterans of the invasion in a venue at Utah Beach. If seeing French President Emmanuel Macron and U.S. President Donald Trump honor them on 6 June, was impressive spending minutes with the veterans the next day was even more so.

 

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