remembering d day images
remembering d day images

remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

Wednesday marked the 74th anniversary of World War II’s D-Day: the largest invasion by air, land and sea in history. More than 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes and 150,000 soldiers from the U.S., Britain and Canada stormed the Nazi-occupied French beaches of Normandy in a deadly surprise attack in World War II. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

Large events are planned for 2019 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the invasion. This year, smaller celebrations are being held around the U.S. and France, including at the Normandy beaches and cliffs where the battles took place. The National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., was holding a day-long remembrance

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Here are five things you should know:

Who led the mission?

no google doodle for d day
no google doodle for d day

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower commanded the Allied Expeditionary Forces during D-Day, known then as Operation Overlord. The highly coordinated and secretive mission included a last-minute weather delay and attempts to throw Germans off course. Eisenhower would go on to become the 34th president of the United States. “remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day”

“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months,” Eisenhower wrote in an encouraging message to his troops.

How long did it last?

Following the mass casualties of D-Day, the battles of Normandy continued for roughly three more months, until Allied troops had pushed all the way to the Seine River and liberated Paris from Nazi control. Less than a year after D-Day, Adolf Hitler committed suicide and Nazi Germany surrendered.

How many people were killed?

More than 4,000 Allied soldiers, most of them younger than 20 years old, died in the June 6, 1944, invasion. Up to 20,000 French civilians were reportedly killed in the bombings. More than 4,000 German troops died, and ultimately, the invasion is credited for changing the course of the war and ultimately pushing Nazi troops back to Germany.

How many WWII veterans are left?

About 450,000 of the 16 million Americans who served in WWII are still living, according to projections by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. An estimated 362 WWII veterans die every day in the U.S. A decade from now, it’s estimated that fewer than 50,000 WWII veterans will remain. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

What does the ‘D’ stand for?

The ‘D’ in D-Day simply stands for ‘day.’ The term D-Day is used to identify the start date of a military invasion, according to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation. H-Hour represents the hour an operation is set to begin.

According to a reconstructed timeline of veteran accounts, thousands of paratroopers dropped in just after midnight. As aircraft continued bombing targets, Navy ships started firing just before 6 a.m., and troops invaded on foot soon after.

CHERBOURG, France —

Paratroopers descend upon Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 3, 2018. The D-Day memorial airdrops involved paratroopers from the U.S. Army and other Allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Magbanua)
A U.S. Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft flies above Normandy American Cemetery, France, June 3, 2018. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua
Army Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe during World War II, spoke these words to his troops before the Battle of Normandy on June 6, 1944. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

Eisenhower, knowing the operation would be costly, prepared his men to face an epic struggle.

“Your task will not be an easy one,” he said. “Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.”

The battle, known as D-Day, was bloody. On the first day of the invasion alone, Allied casualties exceeded 10,000 troops.

However, the Allies managed to break through enemy defenses and establish critical beachheads. These achievements paved the way for the liberation of Europe — and ultimately victory over the enemy.

Fast forward 74 years later: U.S. and allied troops landed upon Normandy again — not to liberate the region from tyranny, but to honor those who did. Aircraft from the U.S. and other allied nations airdropped parachutists, both military and civilian, over the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise to commemorate the Normandy campaign. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

Many of the aircraft in the formation came from the 37th Airlift Squadron, based in Ramstein Air Base, Germany. The 37th is a descendant unit of the 37th Troop Carrier Squadron, which dropped paratroopers near Sainte-Mere-Eglise on D-Day.

D-Day Commemoration, Remembrance

“The significance of us being here is to remind the people of what was achieved here,” said Air Force Capt. Kyle Foley, a 37th Airlift Squadron C-130J instructor pilot who served as the mission commander for the Ramstein airmen.

“It’s been an amazing experience to see the French people still excited about D-Day and the liberation of France,” he said.

Foley emphasized the importance of memorializing D-Day, saying that the event will provide valuable lessons to current and future generations.

Air Force Brig. Gen. Richard G. Moore Jr., commander of the 86th Airlift Wing, which includes the 37th Airlift Squadron, conducted memorial flights across the Normandy region prior to the airdrops over Sainte-Mere-Eglise. He led formations over former battlefields such as Omaha Beach and Pointe du Hoc.

Moore declared that the legacy of D-Day lives on in the partnerships forged between the U.S. and its partners in Europe today. Europe lives peacefully because of the courageous sacrifice of those who descended upon Normandy more than seven decades ago, he said.

Paratroopers descend upon Sainte-Mère-Église, France, June 3, 2018. The D-Day memorial airdrops involved paratroopers from the U.S. Army and other Allied nations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Joshua Magbanua)
Soldiers descend upon Sainte-Mere-Eglise, France, June 3, 2018. The D-Day memorial airdrops involved paratroopers from the U.S. Army and other allied nations. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua
“U.S. forces continue to stand with our European allies and partners ensuring Europe is whole, free, prosperous and at peace,” Moore said. “As we reflect on this 74th anniversary of D-Day, please take a moment to consider the powerful stories of these heroes and their courage. Think about the reality of so many lives lost in defense of our nation and allies, and the special grace shown by the families left behind. Reflect upon the sacrifice of those who gave their lives to guarantee the freedoms we enjoy today.”

Visitors to Omaha Beach today might find the scene typical of a sunlit shore: children playing and flying kites, couples walking hand in hand along the sea and tourists scouring the sand for shells. It can be difficult to imagine that the beach was the site of one of the bloodiest days in history. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

But if they look in the hills above, they would see the Normandy American Cemetery where more than 9,000 U.S. troops rest in peace. The endless rows of white stone crosses and Stars of David serve as sobering reminders of the epic battle which took place there.

Foley said the sacrifices of the Allies in the Battle of Normandy altered the course of history.

“This is something that changed the course of the world,” he said. “It changed the shape of Europe and our relationship with our allies across the world. It was a big deal in the 1940s; it’s a big deal now in 2018. And, it will still be a big deal 10 years from now.”

When Eisenhower concluded his D-Day speech, he envisioned an era where liberty would overthrow tyranny. remembering d day images, no google doodle for d day, five beaches of d day

“The tide has turned,” Eisenhower said to his men. “The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory. Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

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