We wont forget Omaha Beach
Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 8, 2008
The issue: D-Day&8217;s importance to world history.
Our position: The day has passed, but its significance has not.
Lest we forget &8230;
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The day lasted 24 hours, but unlike other days, it must have seemed to run a lot longer.
At the least, the thousands of soldiers who landed along the coastline of France on June 6, 1944 must have felt that way.
The 64th anniversary of that day has come and gone, but it would shame us all to forego remembrance.
D-Day is a general term that refers to the launch of any major military operation. But after the numerous Allied casualties in an invasion that began the effort to end Nazi Germany&8217;s occupation in France, the term and that singular day became inseparable.
As with all wars, we are not unfamiliar with loss.
If we do not know of one or perhaps numerous soldiers that died on D-Day, then we know of others who gave their lives in other battles during World War II, the last large-scale war of its kind.
We observed Memorial Day nearly two weeks ago, but we are certainly not done enjoying the results of past and current soldiers&8217; sacrifices.
Selma resident Art Scroggins put it perfectly on the observance in front of Memorial Stadium that day: &8220;I think that we can remember (veterans) on more than just Memorial Day. We owe them a lot of gratitude, and showing up one day a year is not enough.&8221;
There is no proper way to recount the carnage and the emotion of one the most involved military engagements in history.
Either through print, film or by word of mouth, mighty attempts have been made to capture those images.
Filing out of landing boats or parachuting from planes were some of the most valiant men that ever lived &8212; men that had no true way of knowing the battle they were engaging in until it was right upon them.
Hopefully, the words of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower rang loud in the ears of those soldiers before the guns began to blaze: &8220;You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
The invading soldiers battled savagely, as well. We are allowed to remember that day because of them.