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View Diary: I have his flag: remembering D-Day (45 comments)

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  •  just a reminder.. (10+ / 0-)

    D-Day was 69 years ago now --  literally a lifetime ago.  for most people alive today, its grandfathers, and great grandfathers or even great-great grandfathers who fought in WW2.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 07:12:35 AM PDT

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    •  I'm 17 yrs older than my Father was when he died. (10+ / 0-)

      My Fathers grandchildren weren't born until years after his death, so they haven't any living memories of him at all. He exists to them only in pictures and family stories. Their generation has been visited by war when a brother and cousin, a noncom in the 82nd, committed suicide before his 4th deployment in the current endless war.

      But today is about D-Day and Dad's children, nieces and nephews, now in their late 50s and 60s remember him. And I'll call Aunt Jeanne today. Dad brought up 2 beers to her room and talked with her for an hour before he left for basic training. She says it was  the 1st grown up conversation and 1st beer she had. She was 14 and he was 18.  

    •  "passing of the years...have softened the horror" (8+ / 0-)
      the Army historians who wrote the first official book about Omaha Beach, basing it on the field notes, did a calculated job of sifting and weighting the material. So saying does not imply that their judgment was wrong. Normandy was an American victory; it was their duty to trace the twists and turns of fortune by which success was won. But to follow that rule slights the story of Omaha as an epic human tragedy which in the early hours bordered on total disaster. On this two-division front landing, only six rifle companies were relatively effective as units. They did better than others mainly because they had the luck to touch down on a less deadly section of the beach.


      In the command boat, Captain Ettore V. Zappacosta pulls a Colt .45 and says: "By God, you'll take this boat straight in." His display of courage wins obedience, but it's still a fool's order.


      Above all others stands out the first-aid man, Thomas Breedin. Reaching the sands, he strips off pack, blouse, helmet, and boots. For a moment he stands there so that others on the strand will see him and get the same idea. Then he crawls into the water to pull in wounded men about to be overlapped by the tide. The deeper water is still spotted with tide walkers advancing at the same pace as the rising water. But now, owing to Breedin's example, the strongest among them become more conspicuous targets. Coming along, they pick up wounded comrades and float them to the shore raftwise. Machine-gun fire still rakes the water. Burst after burst spoils the rescue act, shooting the floating man from the hands of the walker or killing both together. But Breedin for this hour leads a charmed life and stays with his work indomitably.

      First Wave at Omaha Beach, written in 1960. "the accompanying narrative describing their ordeal is a sanitized version of the original field notes."

      i always think of that article on D-Day....

      "See? I'm not a racist! I have a black friend!"

      by TheHalfrican on Thu Jun 06, 2013 at 09:08:59 AM PDT

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