Thursday, June 6, 2019

June 6, 1944



"There have only been a handful of days since the beginning of time on which the direction the world was taking has been changed in one 24-hour period by an act of man. June 6, 1944, was one of them.

"No one can tell the whole story of D-Day. Each of the 60,000 men who waded ashore that day knew a little part of the story too well. To them the landing looked like a catastrophe. Each knew a friend shot through the throat, shot through the knee. Each knew the first names of five hanging dead on the barbed wire offshore, three who lay unattended on the beach as the blood drained from the holes in their bodies. They knew whole tank crews who drowned when their tanks were unloaded in 20 feet of water.

"There were heroes here no one will ever know because they're dead. The heroism of others is known only to themselves.

"What the Americans and the British and the Canadians were trying to do was get back a whole continent that had been taken from its rightful owners. It was one of the most monumentally unselfish things one group of people ever did for another.

"It's hard for anyone who's been in a war to describe the terror of it to anyone who hasn't. How would anyone know that John Lacey died in that clump of weeds by the wagon path as he looked to his left towards Simpson and caught a bullet behind the ear? And if there had been a picture of it - and there weren't any - it would've shown that Lacey was the only one who carried apples for the guys in his raincoat pocket.

"If you think the world is rotten, go to the cemetery at Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer on the hill overlooking the beach. See what one group of men did for another, D-Day, June 6, 1944."

- Andrew Rooney (1919-2011)

10 comments:

jimbo26 said...

When you go to war against another country you are fighting for *your country* , whereas you are actually fighting for your comrades-in-arms .
Jim - 12 year veteran , Her Majesties Royal Air Force - MANY years ago .

Bert said...

60.000 men waded ahore that day?
That's just Utah and Omaha.
Counting the Britisch and Canadian troops on Gold, Juno and Sword as well, the total is more like 130.000...

danielle said...

Last year we had the honor of visiting the cemetery and the beach. We were disappointed because this was the highlight of the tour we were on and we got to spend only a limited amount of time at both. But I brought back sand (yes, I know it is not the same sand) from the beach my dad landed on all those years ago. Photos do not do it justice - the fact that ANYONE in the landing forces survived is amazing....

juvat said...

Amen, Brother!

bobbie said...

A wonderful post ~ how I miss Andy!

aht said...

I have no great words only endless love and gratitude for their great sacrifice.
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

Ms. Donna said...

To all who fought and died in WWII, Thank You.

OldAFSarge said...

Well said.

Brian said...

Absolutely amazing story. I think Pyle's dispatches were particularly good.
My grandparents from my mothers side were from Bedford, Virginia. Once the cars starting arriving with telegrams the phone calls were rapid, even for her living in Richmond by then. She, for a while, was happy he joined the Marines instead of the army as they were part Italian and hence recommended to fight in the Pacific and not in the WTO (tinian and saipan were rough I hear). I heard very little stories about it all but tiny snippets passed down, but all about the Pacific. Her brother, my great uncle, thought he'd be safe but helpful being a Seebee and was an early volunteer. I'm told went to this little place called Guadalcanal but said nothing about it to anyone afaik for the rest of his life. What he did say was Hawaii is nice, Tahiti is divine, and New Guinea can rot. Two maries, a seebee, and her a little parachute inspector in Virginia and she's the one who got the handwritten commendation George Marshall. (lost after her death).

PGYx said...

I adore your vivid historical posts. I followed your blog for years through medical school, residency, and beyond. Somehow I lost track and was so happy to find you still here. Most recent post (above) about an 87 year old man's balls and it's like coming home. I have a LOT of catching up to do!

 
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