You may very well be a bad-ass, but you’ll never be D-Day, landing on Omaha Beach in 1944 bad-ass. Today is the 72nd anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy. Mostly comprised of U.S., Canadian, and British troops, the allies gained a foothold on five sectors of the Normandy coast: Omaha, Gold, Sword, Juno, and Utah. It was the largest amphibious assault in history. The taking of Omaha beach was by far the most costly and brutal, with 2000 killed and 1000 wounded. The spoils of such a massive undertaking was a three month, hedgerow to hedgerow battle royal with some of Germany’s best troops throughout Northern France.
No matter how much I read about the subject, nor no matter how many movies and documentaries I watch, can I fathom how much courage it took to storm those beaches, let alone be a wartime soldier. Not just WWII: Any war. It takes a special kind of person to rush head first into an untenable and unpredictable situation with no regard for their safety, and no guarantee they’ll come out in one piece. You will always hear me question war and military actions. However, you will never hear me denigrate a soldier. They deserve respect, and they certainly have mine, both past and present.