For those too young to remember or who haven’t watched “The Longest Day” or “Saving Private Ryan,” on June 6, 1944, the Allied Forces began their invasion of Normandy in World War II – considered the turning point in ending Hitler’s dream of Nazi domination.
Overlord was the largest air, land and sea operation ever undertaken, and the beach landing included more than 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes and 150,000 servicemen.
Many of the first young men entering the surf never made it to the beach. When it was over, the Allies had suffered nearly 10,000 casualties; more than 4,000 were dead. Yet, Europe’s German defenses had been breached and Hitler’s days were numbered.
Sadly, fewer and fewer of D-Day and WWII vets are still alive to attend this solemn occasion in France, or any Memorial Day observances, for that matter.
However, other vets, including those who served in Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, are planning to gather here again to remember all of their gallant sacrifices through the decades.
VFW Post 9170 invites everyone to remember all departed service personnel at the Veterans Memorial at Veterans Memorial Park. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. Monday.
As customary, it will include a welcome from the commanders/presidents of the veterans groups, followed by a keynote speaker, the placing of wreaths by the various veterans groups, a reading of the names of departed Bee County service personnel, “Taps” and a 21-gun salute.
As a nation, we should be ashamed of the current Veterans Affairs scandal. It’s a disgrace. Our veterans are deserving of the finest health care system; not placed on long waiting lists, the victims of delayed care and administration cover-ups.
They fought and many died so that we might enjoy America’s freedoms. May we all take a few moments this weekend to remember our fallen soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines. God bless America.