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...the Allied invasion of continental Europe took place during World War 2.

 

I visited Utah beach a few years ago.

When I was in the Navy, we made a port visit in a French city whose name I don't remember that was close enough to the beaches that we were able to go on a tour. We visited the beach, the Airborne museum in Sainte-Mère-Église, and the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial.

Our tour guide told us that the tidal conditions were pretty close to the conditions on June 6, 1944. After the formal part of the tour was over and we were given some time to wander, I walked as far down the beach towards the ocean as I was able to without actually getting wet and I turned around and looked back inland. It wasn't really all that far, maybe a few hundred yards.

Of nothing but open sand.

I've seen Saving Private Ryan, and if there's even 1% of truth in that opening scene (and I'm sure it's much more than that) those few hundred yards must've seemed like a thousand miles of hell.

I'm not ashamed to say that I cried when I thought of what those brave men had to endure on that beach so many years ago.

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I'm still grateful for that.

I know I wouldn't have been alive if we hadn't been liberated.

 

My Grandfather on my Mother's side sailed to England and fought on their side during the War.

He refused to talk about it.

Being the small annoying kid with an obsession for the War I kept asking till he snapped and said: I had a flamethrower! Now shut up about it!"

Never asked again, when I grew up I realised what a horrible weapon he had to use and what he must have seen.

 

Every single soul in the Free World should realise how lucky we are today.

 

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One of my dad's cousins was in a Sherman DD. I never knew him but his daughter is a close friend of mine so I've heard a few of his stories from her. Another man from my home town who's grandkids are about my age was on a canadian hospital ship handling wounded from the beaches. Didn't know him well but he told a bunch of us about what sort of hell it was on his ship. I don't know what's worse, being at the very front or trying to patch together what's coming back. 

 

Need to see if I can find The Longest Day and make the kids watch it.

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  I was just thinking about D-Day a few days ago while I was driving over the bridge - from there you can get a geat view of the Cross Sound Ferry that goes from New London, CT to Orient Point, NY.

 

One of the ferries, the Cape Henlopen, was originally commissioned as USS LST 510... Eight hours after the initial D-Day landings she reached Omaha Beach for the first time, and continued to ferry men, equipment and vehicles back and forth between England and Normandy for nearly a year. Decommissioned in 1958, she was refitted as a civilian ferry, and is one of only a handful of D-Day ships still in service.

 

 

 

 

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