On this morning, 70 years ago, young men, who had signed up to fight after the attack on Pearl Harbor two and a half years earlier with patriotism running in their veins, boarded landing craft from the largest armada of ships ever to sail.
Now, bouncing over the sea on the way to obstacle strewn beaches, they looked down at their own vomit from seasickness and fear while checking and rechecking their M-1 rifles. With near misses from German artillery cascading all around, saltwater splashed their faces and battle gear before diluting the mess at their feet.
On this morning, 70 years ago, brave, scared young men, and older sergeants and officers watched the explosions from the huge guns of the ships they left behind bombarding Hitler’s “Atlantic Wall” of concrete bunkers housing machine guns, and artillery that could sweep with deadly accuracy the landing beaches.
The sandy stretches were code named, Juno, Sword and Gold where our allies, the British and Canadians would lose, according to the National D-Day Memorial Foundation, nearly 2,000 men. The other two, Utah Beach and what would become known as “Bloody Omaha” Beach would see 2,500 Americans leave their dying blood in the water and sand...