Skip to main content

On the topic of D-Day, take a few minutes and read these first person accounts of that historic day:
We awoke at 2 a.m. on June 7, 1944, the day after D-Day. After a hearty breakfast at our base in Britain, we secured our equipment and walked a mile to our British Horsa gliders. The first glider, towed by a cargo plane, took off at 4:35 a.m. for Normandy, a little over two hours away. It was still dark.

The gliders, which carried up to 25 men, were a critical part of the invasion: Silent and fast, they were used to insert advance troops behind enemy lines. Hundreds of them flew into France during those first few days.

I remember looking out the canopy and seeing the moon break through the clouds. I was sitting next to the pilot, and I could see thousands of invasion ships in the English Channel.

Henry Chu at The Los Angeles Times brings us more accounts:
"All those lads going up the beaches — I'll never forget the courage of those lads," Marshall said. "There was a hell of a lot of heroism that will never be known. Every beachhead gave their all.

"I wouldn't have missed it," he said. "To go through that experience and to come through the other side, it's a thing that you can look back on and think, 'I've come through it all.'"

More on this and the day's other top stories below the fold.

Check out these photos from that historic day.

And, while you're at it, head on over to TIME to see then-and-now pictures and see D-Day unfold "live" on Twitter.

From The Boston Herald:

Americans had to cooperate with allies — and each other. Only a threat of resignation by the supreme commander, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, forced the American and British bomber commands to attack transportation targets to hinder German reinforcement when the invasion should roll ashore. On a stormy June 5 it took a next-day forecast of acceptable weather, a forecast the Germans lacked data to make, for the invasion fleet to sail.

Courage, skill, sacrifice, resolution, cooperation and audacity are always in short supply. Their sources are obscure. But this is clear: Wherever and whenever found, they must be nourished.

The Hartford Courant:
On June 6, Sgt. Smith's company of Rangers landed at Omaha Beach, where he survived the barrage of artillery and machine-gun fire from enemy troops on the bluffs above. He managed to climb to the top of the cliffs and began to attack a German strong point, but was felled by machine gun fire.

A simple white cross — one among many — marks the grave of Staff Sgt. Frederick D. Smith in Normandy.

His story, too, is but one among many. And at its heart, that is what D-Day was all about: individual acts of fearlessness and valor that, together, were a key to ending World War II in Europe.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Unlike during World War II, when America was largely protected by two vast oceans, war planning these days has to focus on long-range attack vulnerabilities, including from nuclear weapons, terrorism and cyberwarfare means.

But the Marines, currently lobbying for a next-generation amphibious combat vehicle, can point to current events, such as China's claims to disputed islands and other parts of the South China and East China seas, as underscoring the need for the United States to retain the capability of putting fighting forces ashore as effectively and speedily as possible.

Yet D-Day's legacy is not in vehicles but in bravery, determination, daring and leadership on the part of Eisenhower and Britain's Winston Churchill and the many American, British, Canadian, French, Australian and other allied troops who fought and died that day. Without them, the war would have been prolonged, and Anne Frank would not have had that moment of hope and courage recorded in her diary on June 6, 1944.

Switching topics, The New York Times editorial board pens a blistering critique of those who are attacking the strategy of bringing an American prisoner of war home:
Four months ago, Senator John McCain said he would support the exchange of five hard-core Taliban leaders for the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. “I would support,” he told CNN. “Obviously I’d have to know the details, but I would support ways of bringing him home and if exchange was one of them I think that would be something I think we should seriously consider.”

But the instant the Obama administration actually made that trade, Mr. McCain, as he has so often in the past, switched positions for maximum political advantage. “I would not have made this deal,” he said a few days ago. Suddenly the prisoner exchange is “troubling” and “poses a great threat” to service members. Hearings must be held, he said, and sharp questions asked.

This hypocrisy now pervades the Republican Party and the conservative movement, and has even infected several fearful Democrats. When they could use Sergeant Bergdahl’s captivity as a cudgel against the administration, they eagerly did so, loudly and in great numbers. And the moment they could use his release to make President Obama look weak on terrorism or simply incompetent, they reversed direction without a moment’s hesitation to jump aboard the new bandwagon.

Eugene Robinson provides his take:
The high-volume “debate” about Bergdahl’s homecoming sounds like the raving heard around the water coolers of Crazytown. Here, in descending order of importance, are the issues the Bergdahl affair presents — and a rational way to think about them. [...] 1. “We leave no soldier behind on the battlefield.” This is the commitment we make to the men and women who serve in the U.S. armed forces. The promise was made to Bergdahl, and the nation was honor-bound to respect it.
David Brooks:
of course, President Obama had to take all measures necessary to secure the release of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl. Of course, he had to do all he could do to not forsake an American citizen.

It doesn’t matter if Bergdahl had deserted his post or not. It doesn’t matter if he is a confused young man who said insulting and shameful things about his country and his Army. The debt we owe to fellow Americans is not based on individual merit. It is based on citizenship, and loyalty to the national community we all share.

Soldiers don’t risk their lives only for those Americans who deserve it; they do it for the nation as a whole.

On the topic of climate change, Paul Krugman, of course, is a must-read:
Maybe it’s me, but the predictable right-wing cries of outrage over the Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rules on carbon seem oddly muted and unfocused. I mean, these are the people who managed to create national outrage over nonexistent death panels. Now the Obama administration is doing something that really will impose at least some pain on some people. Where are the eye-catching fake horror stories?

For what it’s worth, however, the attacks on the new rules mainly involve the three C’s: conspiracy, cost and China. That is, right-wingers claim that there isn’t any global warming, that it’s all a hoax promulgated by thousands of scientists around the world; that taking action to limit greenhouse gas emissions would devastate the economy; and that, anyway, U.S. policy can’t accomplish anything because China will just go on spewing stuff into the atmosphere.

I don’t want to say much about the conspiracy theorizing, except to point out that any attempt to make sense of current American politics must take into account this particular indicator of the Republican Party’s descent into madness. There is, however, a lot to say about both the cost and China issues.

Ben Adler at Grist:
Environmentalists have an advantage over their conservative opponents: The public agrees with them. Several recent polls have found public support running roughly 2-to-1 in favor of regulating CO2 from power plants, even if it means higher electricity prices.

National numbers can fail to capture the politics of coal-heavy swing states. Conservative groups and the coal lobby are targeting their pitches in states that produce coal or rely heavily on it for power, and saying it will not just raise electricity prices but lead to job losses.

But the League of Conservation Voters released a poll Thursday suggesting that there’s strong support for the rules even in these states.

Tags

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

  •  in all the D-Day remembrances, there is one (43+ / 0-)

    vital fact that is often overlooked in the US (because it doesn't fit the American nationalist mythology)---> fewer than half of the troops who stormed ashore on D-Day were Americans. Most of them were British and Canadians.

    We like to think, in our American Mythology, that we won the war virtually single-handedly.  We didn't.

    Nearly two-thirds of all German losses in the war came from the Russians. British Lancasters dropped more tons of bombs on Europe than American B-17s did. Our role--particularly our vast economic resources--was vitally important, but we did not win the war single-handedly.

    In the end, reality always wins.

    by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:12:08 AM PDT

    •  Yes, I was raised by a Marine who served in (16+ / 0-)

      Korea as he was in high school during WWII. He always told us that England and Russia suffered the most during WWII and also all those who lived under Nazi occupation or who were sent to the conccentration camps. So I was taught the Jewish people, England , Russia, occupied countries suffered the most during the war in Europe.

      So interestingly the stories were told by an American Marine but with an emphasis on the casualties, brutality,and the suffering of the people of western and eastern Europe.

      Keystone Liberals on Twitter @ KeystoneLibs , Join PA Liberals at http://keystoneliberalsforum.aimoo.com/

      by wishingwell on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:20:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Thank you for reminding us of this, Lenny (8+ / 0-)

      The same mentality that thinks only Americans compete in the Olympic games overlooks the sacrifices and heroism of those who stormed Gold, Juno, and Sword beaches.

      "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

      by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:26:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  D day (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lenny Flank, Brian82, hbk, gffish, Mr MadAsHell

        My father was one of the people who participated in Normandy.  He was on Gold beach and came ashore in the second wave.  He was not a really young man - he was 31 years old at the time.  But maybe being only 5'6" and weighing about 125lbs helped him survive - he was a pretty small target!  Also had a grandfather that survived the trenches of the WWI.

        •  WW1 is another war where the American Mythology (7+ / 0-)

          reigns supreme--most Americans even today believe that the US came charging in and won that war after the dumbass British and French couldn't.

          The reality is that American troops were only in Europe in significant numbers for a few months at the end of the war, and the war was already essentially over (after the failure of the 1918 German offensive) before the US troops even arrived. Our military contribution to that war was negligable.

          (And now I will once again be flogged for unpatriotically questioning the American Mythology "on a day like this !!" . . . sigh)

          In the end, reality always wins.

          by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:38:04 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I get you're point, but (5+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Brian82, Simplify, hbk, thomask, revsue

            I don't think anyone who has studied history to any extent at all is unaware of the fact that the British and their "colonies" were involved from August 1939 and we didn't become involved until the very end of 1941.  Of course the Pacific is a somewhat different story.

            I was a war baby.  My dad was in the USN in WWII.  Many of the people I went to school with had fathers in combat in WWII.  One of my best friends never knew his father because he was an infant when his father was killed in the Battle of the Bulge.  The stories and lessons were a part of our growing up.  I don't remember any of my friends being British.   So it is somewhat natural to have a U.S. perspective. We admired the part played by the British, Canadians, South Africans, Australians, Indians, Gurkas, Free French, Polish exiles, etc., etc..;  the USSR and Chinese to a lesser extent, because they were later considered our greatest threat during most of our lifetimes.  Your point is valid, but I do think you can come down too hard on it.  I have many concerns about the electorate's ignorance of U.S. history and government, but they currently have more to do with the lack of understanding about the laws and policies which gave a majority of citizens the opportunity to live decent, meaningful lives and are currently being subverted and undermined by those who don't have a clue  or have completely warped ideas about the achievements of the Progressive Era, The New Deal, the Fair Deal, the New Frontier, and the Great Society.

          •  We were a banker and supplier. (0+ / 0-)

            That was our real value to the Allies in WWI. American dollars helped finance the Allied war effort, and we helped keep the Allied powers supplied with the materials needed to fight the war.

            In the end, the Allies' superior resources are what won the war, which could be viewed as a four-year siege of the Central Powers.

            "Ça c'est une chanson que j'aurais vraiment aimé ne pas avoir écrite." -- Barbara

            by FogCityJohn on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 02:09:51 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  I don't know about most of them (6+ / 0-)

      But a large number of the soldiers on D-day were British and Canadian.  There were 5 beaches which were invaded that day and Americans landed on two of them.  Of course we're going to hype up our own over the British and Canadians.  We're Americans.  Why would we hype the British or Canadians?  Are they gonna hype up our sacrifices?    

      As for the Russians, it's safe to say that many who have studied the history of WWII know that the German push into Russia was an unmitigated disaster and that they lost many lives at the hands of the Russians.  Being Americans of course we hype our role but outside of those who are truly ignorant of the history, the role the Russians played is well known.  The fact is we were only in Europe for one year.  The British and Russians were fighting the war for half a decade before we entered.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:30:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  some numbers (7+ / 0-)

        Cited today by CNN:

        Yes, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme Allied commander, was American, but his deputy, Air Chief Marshal Sir Arthur Tedder was British, as were all three service chiefs. Air Marshal Sir Arthur "Mary" Coningham, commander of the tactical air forces, was also British. The plan for Operation Overlord -- as D-Day was codenamed -- was largely that of Gen. Bernard Montgomery, the land force commander. The Royal Navy had overall responsibility for Operation Neptune, the naval plan. Of the 1,213 warships involved, 200 were American and 892 were British; of the 4,126 landing craft involved, 805 were American and 3,261 were British.

        http://www.cnn.com/...

        From the D-Day Museum:
        On D-Day, the Allies landed around 156,000 troops in Normandy. The American forces landed numbered 73,000: 23,250 on Utah Beach, 34,250 on Omaha Beach, and 15,500 airborne troops. In the British and Canadian sector, 83,115 troops were landed (61,715 of them British): 24,970 on Gold Beach, 21,400 on Juno Beach, 28,845 on Sword Beach, and 7900 airborne troops.

        Operation Neptune involved huge naval forces, including 6,939 vessels: 1,213 naval combat ships, 4,126 landing ships and landing craft, 736 ancillary craft and 864 merchant vessels. Some 195,700 personnel were assigned to Operation Neptune: 52,889 US, 112,824 British, and 4,988 from other Allied countries.

        http://www.ddaymuseum.co.uk/...

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:39:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  My great-uncle Walt stormed Omaha Beach. (6+ / 0-)

          He will not talk about it.

          When Saving Private Ryan came out, his buddies who had been there with him said, "Walt, you gotta see this movie! It's just like it was, only this time you can't get hurt."
          "No, thanks," Walt replied, "once was enough for me."

          Don't thank my Uncle Walt for his service. That was then, this is now, and never the twain, if he has his way, will meet.

          Being fluent in German, he served the remainder of his hitch after the war as a guard in a prison camp for Nazis. He gathered a lot of intel by pretending he didn't understand the insults the Germans threw at him in his mother and father's native tongue.

          My great-uncle Walt is a quiet hero and too modest to hear any praise about it. That was true of my late cousin Jack, who served in the Hell that was the Battle of the Bulge.

          So I'll brag for them. I'm proud to share their DNA.

          Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

          by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:34:12 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  This is the same as my dad and many of his (6+ / 0-)

            oldest friends and service-mates, even though they served in the Pacific Theater.  They simply refuses to talk about their service; they share no stories of that time, not even stories unconnected to battle..  They're polite about turning down inclusion in discussions, but they're adamant.  My dad won't watch war films, newsreels, or anything connected with WWII or any other war.  I asked him once why - were the films just too painful?  All he said was that there was no way of knowing what war is like without actually being there.

            My dad is gone now, and I wish I had learned more about his service.  But I respect his refusal to discuss that time - it was, after all, his time and his life.

            "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

            by SueDe on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:46:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  the Pacific War was particularly brutal because it (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gary Hurd, hbk, gffish, Mr MadAsHell

              was based on heavy feelings of racial superiority--on both sides. And unlike the Germans, who surrendered when beaten, the Japanese fought to the death and did not take prisoners. So on both sides, no quarter was asked for, nor was any given.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:04:41 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  alas: (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Hurd, gffish
        those who are truly ignorant of the history
        That would be about 99.9% of the US population.

        :(

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:44:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Is this Put Down Americans Day? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Peace Missile

          Most of the world is ignorant of history

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:02:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  thanks for illustrating my point so effectively (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gary Hurd, Zwenkau, gffish

            We STILL don't like it when American Mythology gets questioned . . . . . .  .

            Most of the world is ignorant of history
            Most Americans are too--which is why we celebrate the "Private Ryan" mythology that we won the war single-handedly.

            And resent very much being reminded otherwise.

            Which is precisely why we need to be reminded.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:20:11 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  You should quit flogging that strawman (0+ / 0-)

              Especially on a day when American's---and other people's--courage is celebrated

              which is why we celebrate the "Private Ryan" mythology that we won the war single-handedly.
              And resent very much being reminded otherwise.
              Got a ref for that? some sort of study or survey?  Otherwise I'll be forced to think its just a somewhat biased opinion of Americans based on anecdotal experience.
              (oops, too late, I already think that)

              I got your point---you think Americans are ignorant: right?

              Happy just to be alive

              by exlrrp on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:27:36 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  obviously, I am unpatriotic and probably a traitor (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Gary Hurd, Zwenkau

                (sigh)

                Thanks once again for illustrating my point so effectively.

                In the end, reality always wins.

                by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:28:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

              •  I seem to recall soldiers of other nations (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                peregrine kate, hbk, TerryDarc

                in "Private Ryan" but I may be mistaken on that.

                Even so, today's events attended by Obama were also attended by the leaders of the other allied nations. We shared the sacrifice then, we share the remembrance now.

                Everyone I know that served in WWII, the Korean Conflict and Viet Nam will not talk about there being any glory in war. That's one meme I'd like to see disposed of before I have grandchildren old enough to be fed on it.

                Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

                by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:38:05 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  And Queen Elizabeth is the star (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Gentle Giant, gffish, TerryDarc

                  both because she's the only one of the leaders to have actually been around during the war (and was in the armed forces, at age 18), and because of Britain's key role both in troops and in hosting the entire operation for months beforehand. The BBC coverage of the towns where the troops gathered has been most interesting.

                •  I don't recall ANY Brit or Canadian troops in (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  gffish

                  "Private Ryan". I do recall a group of Brit veterans criticizing the movie because it didn't portray the contribution made in the invasion of France by the Brits (specifically I recall one criticism was that the actual US Army unit portrayed in the film was, in reality, carried to the beach by a BRITISH unit of landing craft, but the movie depicted them landing in American boats).

                  In the "Band of Brothers" miniseries I recall only one Brit--a tank commander who was portrayed as a bumbling dolt who was stupidly following orders to "not destroy civilian property".

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:09:51 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

          •  yes its contrarian and cool. (1+ / 1-)
            Recommended by:
            Peace Missile
            Hidden by:
            cville townie

            bonus points for calling a deserter a true warrior while casting everyone else in his unit as dumb unthinking fuck offs, due to the fact their calling a deserter a deserter.

    •  No "we" don't think that, other than the histor... (5+ / 0-)

      No "we" don't think that, other than the historically ignorant. Anyone who had any WWII history in school knows it was an allied effort, including a huge loss of lives by the Russians.

      If you go to any of the former Allied countries, you'll see a greater focus on their own contributions, including the French war museum in Paris, where it was all about their own resistance.

      •  some people are still apparently upset when (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gary Hurd, Zwenkau, gffish

        the American Mythology gets questioned . . . . .  . .

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:40:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  We don't care, we know history (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Gentle Giant, gffish

          and I'll bet there's  a few Brits, French and Russians thinking they won the war all by themselves too.

          The French version of D-Day is some guys came over and did some stuff on June 6th BUT ON JUNE 14TH CHARLES DEGAULLE ARRIVED AND LIBERATED FRANCE!

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:59:33 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Agreed. (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jabus, Zwenkau, Nannyberry

            But isn't it natural that a nation would focus first and foremost on its own contributions, sacrifices, defeats and victories?

            Most of what I've seen in documentary, rather than Hollywood's typical "based on" stories, acknowledges the presence and contributions of other nations, even if it is merely a "Oh, and they were there too" mention.

            I have to laugh whenever I hear or read someone sneering at France by stating how we "saved their bacon". We weren't occupied by a superior, ruthless military force. The feats of the French Underground are legendary. And, lest we forget, we would not be a nation without the French saving our bacon with their fleet before we ever became a nation. And they gave us the Statue of Liberty. Elle est une femme.
            Every June 6th, the French are superb at thanking the US and their other allies for D-Day. They owe us nothing more.

            We don't need to downplay our own parts to recognize those of our allies. I am certain not any one nation would have succeeded without the others. We can be proud of our part, grateful and proud of theirs and the day, the remembrance, will be every bit as meaningful. Moreso, if you embrace the opportunity to share in the positive outcomes of so horrid an event.

            Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

            by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:47:43 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  nobody has "downplayed our parts" (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Gentle Giant, Gary Hurd, Zwenkau, hbk

              I simply stated what "our part" WAS, accurately and exactly.

              Fewer than half of the troops that landed on D-Day were Americans. Two-thirds of all the losses by Germany came at the hands of the Russians. That is simple plain factual reality.

              Sorry if some of us here would prefer a mythological version of reality where those facts aren't true and where our part was bigger, better, and more American, but those facts ARE true. Period.

              In the end, reality always wins.

              by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:57:51 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  But just as nobody has "downplayed our parts" (0+ / 0-)

                I've read nobody insisting on or preferring a mythological version of reality.

                I'm sorry if you misconstrued my meaning and/or if I failed to express it clearly.

                Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

                by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:07:02 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  and yet, I've been accused, in so many words, of (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Zwenkau, Gentle Giant

                  "insulting America" simply for pointing those simple facts out . . .

                  "Patriotism" does weird things to the human brain. "Emotional Tribalism" is a stupid thing--both when it applies to countries, and when it applies to political positions on issues. As we see here at DKos every day.

                  I'm sorry if you misconstrued my meaning and/or if I failed to express it clearly.
                  No need to apologize--I got your meaning just fine and clear.  It's not you I am referring to.  :)

                  In the end, reality always wins.

                  by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:14:29 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

        •  Finish up already. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Peace Missile

          Others are getting annoyed with this passive-aggressive dickishness.

          "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

          by nosleep4u on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 11:53:36 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I wasn't aware that anybody misunderstood (11+ / 0-)

      the term "Allies".  

      American troops were 47% of the total and 57% of the Allied soldiers killed that day. American infrantry was tasked with landing on and taking Omaha Beach -- where nearly half the day's Allied deaths were suffered.

      I remain unaware of any sin in celebrating the actions of our own countrymen and mourning our own losses.  Little towns in Iowa and New Hampshire lost precious few Englishmen and Russians.  Likewise, they had precious few Englishmen and Russians to follow and to cheer.

      LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

      by dinotrac on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:35:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  so D-Day is all about us, us, us . . . . . . . (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        graphixart, tampaedski
        I remain unaware of any sin in celebrating the actions of our own countrymen and mourning our own losses.  Little towns in Iowa and New Hampshire lost precious few Englishmen and Russians.  Likewise, they had precious few Englishmen and Russians to follow and to cheer.
        "Tribalism", defined.

        Just one reason why "patriotism" is one of the stupider characteristics of humans.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:52:29 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Come on, Lenny. Read the words. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Grabber by the Heel

          LG: You know what? You got spunk. MR: Well, Yes... LG: I hate spunk!

          by dinotrac on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:25:52 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Those of us who had Fathers & Grandfathers that (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          dinotrac

          served in the invasion as members of the US military, and the subsequent Normandy campaign, are informed of the event  thru the memories of those veterans and our families remembrances. It is a fine thing to remember what they did even if the Russians killed 9 of every 10 Germans  snuffed out during the war.

          My Father was in the Naval Armed Guard and volunteered to help scuttle damaged ships to make breakwater off Omaha Beach. Then he and his mates manned the anti aircraft guns on the sunken merchant ships. He served for the whole campaign and then was reassigned back to convoy duty.

          He also was on two Murmansk Convoys to supply Russian armies. Convoys without which Russia couldn't have remained in the war. The most dangerous convoy duty of the war.

          He was on two ships that were sunk by enemy action, one by air attack in the Mediterranean, another by torpedo off S. Africa.

          I get to remember and respect his sacrifice and suffering,
           you jackass.

          Do you live in a mirror constantly rocking on a hobby horse?

          You can celebrate the Russians and their great war efforts on the anniversary of the victory at Stalingrad or Kursk, but today I get to honor my Father and mourn for his blasted youth without your fucking trolling.

    •  Don't forget the USA was fighting 2 wars (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      gffish, Grabber by the Heel

      all over the globe. While the USSR was fighting only one, in their front yard.
      2 Wars that, at the time, the USSR had no chance of winning if they fought both at once.
      .
      And if you know your history, you know that Stalin and Japan had a non aggression treaty that kept Stalin from fighting 2 wars. Stalin only violated that AFTER the A bombs wre dropped, so e could snatch Manchuria and Korea.

      The USA sure wasn't the only ones fighting that war but we don't have to take  back seat to the USSR

      Happy just to be alive

      by exlrrp on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:53:29 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  well, keep in mind WHY the Russians were not (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Gentle Giant, Gary Hurd, gffish

        fighting on two fronts---because they beat the snot out of the Japanese at Khalkhin Gol in 1939, literally the day before Hitler invaded Poland. That loss convinced the Japanese to "Strike South", against what they considered to be an easier opponent---the United States and Britain.

        Stalin only violated that AFTER the A bombs wre dropped, so e could snatch Manchuria and Korea.
        This is simply not true.  The US, USSR and UK all agreed at Tehran in 1943 that the USSR would invade Japanese-occupied China after Germany was defeated, and then at the Yalta Conference in February 1945, all three again agreed that this invasion would take place 90 days after Germany surrendered. Stalin declared war on Japan 90 days after the German surrender--as all three countries had already agreed.

        In the end, reality always wins.

        by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:16:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The reason that Stalin invaded MAnchuria (0+ / 0-)

          was to grab it and as much other land as he could because he wanted a seat at the table when peace terms were signed and to grab as much territory as he could. He knew the bombs would end the war and wanted as much territory as he could---easy enough to understand.

          So--you agree the Russians were fighting only one war while the USA fought 2?  And that the USA was the main force fighting the Japanese AND fighting our share of war in Europe? While Russia only fought one war?
          Point made

          Happy just to be alive

          by exlrrp on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:32:46 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  you are simply wrong. The US, UK and USSR had (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Gary Hurd

            all agreed, years earlier (while the A-bomb was just a theoretical paper plan), that Stalin would invade Japanese-occupied China.

            Sorry about that.

            And the Japanese didn't invade Siberia because Russia had already kicked their ass at Khalkhin Gol. Tojo decided the US was an easier target.

            Sorry about that too.

            In the end, reality always wins.

            by Lenny Flank on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:43:34 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Some were French; some Austrailian. I saw that ... (0+ / 0-)

      Some were French; some Austrailian. I saw that movie!

    •  Actually I'm afraid you've got it a bit wrong. (0+ / 0-)

      I remember a report of a survey, somewhat like the 2002 National Geographic one that caused me to cringe (still does as I'm not sure things have improved!), that showed a double digit (than goodness under 20 if I recall) of college students that picked Lee at Normandy and Eisenhower at Gettysburg—and not as a retired resident!

      As for that geographic literacy, wonder how many could find Normandy on a globe without look up help on a digital one. With results of that geographic poll like this one indeed wonders.

      About 11 percent of young citizens of the U.S. couldn't even locate the U.S. on a map. The Pacific Ocean's location was a mystery to 29 percent; Japan, to 58 percent; France, to 65 percent; and the United Kingdom, to 69 percent.
      And under the heading "Are Young U.S. Citizens Americentric?" these results:
      Despite the threat of war in Iraq and the daily reports of suicide bombers in Israel, less than 15 percent of the young U.S. citizens could locate either country.
      and
      Particularly humiliating was that all countries were better able to identify the U.S. population than many young U.S. citizens. Within the U.S., almost one-third said that population was between one billion and two billion; the answer is 289 million.
      From overhearing conversations in one of the better educated areas of the nation, one with all the embassy buildings and diplomatic plates around and a diverse population, I've quite often been downright shocked at comments indicating professionals (by other bits) without much clue to either history or other places. I think the worst was a few months ago when a table of apparent upper managers of one of the larger IT firms were at a loss when one of their better traveled fellows mentioned how nice it was to be able to rent a car and travel directly between Belfast and Dublin. "Border? What border?" and "Troubles? What troubles?" and these were not twenty or even thirty somethings!

      The only foes that threaten America are the enemies at home, and those are ignorance, superstition, and incompetence. [Elbert Hubbard]

      by pelagicray on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 08:17:38 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain's reactions don't deserve to be in the ... (13+ / 0-)

    ... same story as the heroism of D-Day!

    2014 is HERE. Build up the Senate. Win back the House : 17 seats. Plus!

    by TRPChicago on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:12:35 AM PDT

  •  Gliding behind enemy lines - Geez, what bravery! (5+ / 0-)

    Sort of makes drone attacks by operators at keyboards thousands of miles away seem like, hell I don't know, not that big of deal, unless you are the drone's target.

  •  Local radio wingnut.....'This Bergdahl story gets (4+ / 0-)

    weirder every day.'

  •  "Hate the coal; Love the mine-worker; ... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Terrapin, gffish
    "Hate the coal; Love the mine-worker; ...
    Hate the mine-owner"
    might be a useful slogan if those mine-owners keep digging in against the necessary reduction in coal-burning.
  •   We leave no soldier behind on the battlefield (9+ / 0-)

    Damn right Gene Robinson.  It's as simple as that.  And Drudge can go fuck himself if he thinks otherwise.

    "The real wealth of a nation consists of the contributions of its people and nature." -- Riane Eisler

    by noofsh on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:27:09 AM PDT

    •  noofsh, (4+ / 0-)

      I have been a bit meek in telling others who worship anyone in a uniform, but I have said this:

      "Not everyone in a uniform is a hero. There are some right bastards serving our country. Many joined hoping only for the opportunity to kill without repercussions."

      I was in a part of the Navy that required some intellectual prowess. Even among those you'd expect to be higher thinkers, there were individuals it was a real chore to respect.

      No, the clothes don't make the man (or woman).

      STILL, had I ever seen combat, I would have risked my ass to save any one of them, would not have left them behind. Bastards and assholes included. The Prez has it right. I would not have wanted to serve with anyone who would disagree with that.

      Lead with love. Forgive as a reflex.

      by Gentle Giant on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:57:14 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  But Eugene Robinson was wrong about (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tb mare, peregrine kate, gffish

      several other things in his column, for instance

      Was the price of Bergdahl’s freedom too high? No, it wasn’t. The five Taliban commanders released in exchange should properly be described as one-time Taliban commanders. I don’t doubt that they were powerful, dangerous enemy leaders at the time of their capture. But all have been held at Guantanamo since at least 2002. The war and the world have changed.
      Why doesn't Robinson doubt that the five Talibanis who were traded to secure Bergdahl's release were "dangerous enemy leaders"?  The lawyer representing one of them has stated publicly that the prisoner was a provincial office-holder in the Taliban government, not affiliated with Taliban troops or battlefield efforts, and was in fact known as a moderate who often acted as a go-between for talks between Taliban militants and Afghanis.  That statement alone should have dissuaded Robinson from accepting the beltway's knee-jerk depiction of all five as "dangerous enemy leaders."

      Also:

      The president should and could have informed Congress that he was going ahead with a prisoner exchange that he knew would be controversial.
       The president has already explained why he could not have notified congress 30 days ahead of the prisoner swap - that word leaking out (from that self-serving bunch of sieves) would have jeopardized the entire operation and perhaps endangered the life of Bergdahl.  Now if Robinson doesn't believe the president, fine.  But he should not have averred that Obama should have done something that the president gave a perfectly rational explanation for not doing.

      I'm generally a big fan of Robinson's work, but this column, it seems to me, is a product of more attention to beltway spin than any research or critical thinking.

      "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing" - Edmund Burke

      by SueDe on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 07:19:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Thanks for this D-Day diary, Georgia (7+ / 0-)

    You wouldn't believe how many people never give this anniversary a thought.

    "Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich."--Napoleon

    by Diana in NoVa on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:28:18 AM PDT

  •  Photos remind me of an FS Fitzgerald passage.... (5+ / 0-)

    ....about some society people going through their dramas on a vacation beach that was once a battlefield in which soldiers fought and died for every inch.

    Think it was in Tender is the Night, but I'm not positive.

  •  Thanks Georgia (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Georgia Logothetis, hulibow, JaxDem

    I voted Tuesday, May 6, 2014 because it is my right, my responsibility and because my parents moved from Alabama to Ohio to vote. Unfortunately, the republicons want to turn Ohio into Alabama.

    by a2nite on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:39:22 AM PDT

  •  Florida and CO2 regulations (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    I love OCD, gffish

    this issue is heating up down here already, not surprisingly since we rank second only to Texas in carbon dioxide emissions.  116 million tons in 2013.

    Not surprisingly, Rubio had something to say -- I won't link to his blatherings anymore, but it went something like this:

    What they don't understand, or seem to want to ignore yadda yadda yadda [reaches for bottled water and guzzles it] China and India do it [suppresses a belch] worse than we do it.  President Obama wants the American people to pay the price for his outrageous and unfair stance on energy.  
    Shorter version:  Obama bad, Rubio good.

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 05:47:06 AM PDT

    •  That's why it's a two-step process (0+ / 0-)

      Shutting down coal-fired facilities and limiting CO2 emissions in the US is an important step.

      But along with it, we need to keep the d**n stuff in the ground, when the coal companies want to keep mining it and shipping it to China and etc. -- which means standing with those protesting mountaintop removal and other mining technologies.

      So instead of arguing that Step #1 is useless because of #2, we need to keep repeating loudly that it's both-and.

      I saw somewhere that China has responded to the EPA/Obama initiative by at least making noises about moving away from coal itself. So there is that international leadership thing to take into account as well.

      •  Besides, (0+ / 0-)

        transitioning off coal will reduce many other, heavier, pollutants out of the air right here in the U.S.

        CO2 isn't the only pollutant. Of course Rubio knows that, he just finds to convenient to forget that for certain speeches.

        "What could BPossibly go wrong??" -RLMiller "God is just pretend." - eru

        by nosleep4u on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 12:07:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  remembering Doc Poteat (6+ / 0-)

    The paratrooper with the full head of hair and big ears to the right of Gen Eisenhower is Dean "Doc" Poteat.

    Doc was wounded by flack while floating down to the ground after jumping in France.  Shell fragments hit Doc in his knee, leg, arm and hand.  Doc spent three days hiding in a barn before being recovered and taken for medical treatment.

    I worked with Doc and enjoyed hearing his D-day stories. Doc passed away about ten years ago.

    Thank you Doc ...you are remembered.

  •  They know they've lost on climate change. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Gentle Giant, tb mare, gffish, nosleep4u

    And Obamacare.  BENGHAZI!!!! is losing it's shine, the gun nuts are so extreme even Texans are turned off.  All they have is Bergdahl, and their own tweets are tripping them up there.  They have no choice but to fund VA expansion, they may even be forced to deal with immigration reform.  I love Obama's responses to the press.  It's even getting harder to sell him as weak!  Someone on Facebook reconfigure the Time magazine cover using McCain, with details of his 5 plane crashes, the number of Vietcong traded, and the questions about his possibly treasonous behavior.  He's on shaky enough ground already, might want to STFU before he becomes the story.  

    I'm more interested in Mississippi and the Tea Party folks breaking into a court house, and the 2 loaded guns left in the children's department at Target stores.  I guess bad diapers with guns are a huge threat in Texas.  These loons might actually change the landscape of the 2A war.  

    I'm not looking for a love that will lift me up and carry me away. A love that will stroll alongside and make a few amusing comments will suffice.

    by I love OCD on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 06:39:38 AM PDT

  •  My dad was a tail gunner in a B-17 (4+ / 0-)

    Stationed in England, and his last mission was about a week before D-Day.  They were softening the German defenses the last 2 or 3 bombing runs.

    They did not know the details, but they could tell from the activity all around southern England that something big was happening.

    The history is interesting, as the Americans wanted to do the mainland European invasion first thing when Americans finally got involved in the European War in late 1942.  Instead the British planners won out and we started our involvement in North Africa.  It was probably a good choice, as our troops were nowhere near ready for an operation like D-Day and the battles that followed at that point.

  •  D-Day (7+ / 0-)

    I remember, I was 4 at the time, watching the tanks and the trucks and the cars going down my lane on the way to Portsmouth just before D-Day. It took a long time for the troops to pass and during that time we could not get out of the house unless we walked across the fields behind. Of course I did not know it was D-Day, nor understood anything about the war, but I can still see, in my mind's eye the tank framed by the trees hanging overhead.
    There wasn't much of my lane afterwards.

  •  V. Plame in Politico: Snowden Rox; Kerry&Difi Sux (0+ / 0-)

    Difi et al...

    ...claim—with scant evidence or examples—that Snowden’s revelations have deeply harmed national security. This is a mere talking point, and a tired tactic used for decades by intelligence officials fearful that when the public learns what the government is actually up to, it won’t be able to do it anymore. Even the president’s own review panel, which included a former counterterrorism advisor and former senior CIA official, found that the NSA’s phone records collection program has not been instrumental in preventing any attacks against the United States.
    Read more: http://www.politico.com/...
  •  GOPers can't even mark D-Day anniversary (0+ / 0-)

    without hailing their St. Reagan.  Gah!

    My Karma just ran over your Dogma

    by FoundingFatherDAR on Fri Jun 06, 2014 at 10:29:49 AM PDT

  •  Remembering World War 2 (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Grabber by the Heel

    Yeah, I get tired of Tom Brokaw making a living off "the Greatest Generation."   But American participation in WWII was a pretty significant achievement.  We went from a Great Depression with a military numbering only a couple hundred thousands soldiers, sailors and airmen into a world wide war against two of the greatest military powers in the world.
    We could have just fought Japan that attacked us, but no we decided to fight fascism as an ideology.
    Our allies?  Stalin who killed more people and more of his own country men than Hitler did.  England with a colonial empire and spending military resources to keep India and its other colonies under its thumb. Occupied countries currying favor with their occupiers and hunting down their own resistance fighters.
    Not a done deal that in the end the "good guys" won.

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site