OPINION | This article contains political commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
77 years ago today, Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, laying the foundations for victory against Hitler in the European theatre.
I’ve included two short videos for you to watch if you would like to, but they hardly do the invasion justice. You’d have to find a two-hour documentary, not a two-minute clip.
The raw courage and bravery that was shown that day is something to stand in awe of.
I will always stand firmly behind the belief that if we don’t know our history, then we are most certainly doomed to repeat it. If we forget what Hitler did and why, then eventually someone new will come to power with the same ideals, and we won’t be able to recognize the threat they pose to the free world. Our children don’t know what to look for because we’ve protected them from the truth. Young children do need to be protected from the truth to some extent. I don’t think a five-year-old needs to know what the Holocaust was, but a high school senior certainly does. Protection that goes on for too long leads to ignorance, and ignorance will lead to situations that could have been prevented.
With all of that being said, today is a day for reflection. Reflect on the fact that if it wasn’t for these brave men and women, we very likely wouldn’t have an America to live in. D-Day was a very big piece in an even larger puzzle. Our men and women were tested time and time again, and they always stood tall, ready to defend the country and its future. I could talk for a ridiculous number of pages about these heroes, but I won’t do that here. Just know that I’m very passionate about this subject and I intend to spend my life studying it and protecting it for future generations.
In the summer of 2019, I had the pleasure of visiting the National World War II Museum in New Orleans, Louisiana. While I was there, I had the privilege of meeting two veterans that had fought in the war. It was the honor of my lifetime, and something I’ll remember until my last breath. These two men were there to teach people, young and old, about their experiences. Through all of my years of reading, WWII veterans have taken on the qualities of legends to me, so getting to talk with some of them was an indescribable experience.
There are very few remaining WWII veterans, and even fewer who were there on D-Day. If you ever see a WWII veteran, stop and thank them. If not for them, our world would be a very different place. The ramifications of their actions over the course of the war are immeasurable.