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A famous day is approaching...a day often overshadowed by Memorial Day but one that makes Memorial Day all the more important. Sixty-five years ago, hundreds of thousands of young men waited impatiently to hear two words--"It's on!" France was occupied as was Belgium, Poland, Holland and numerous others. England had endured the "Blitz" and had had a knife at her throat since 1940. All Europe, was groaning under the heel of Adolf Hitler and the unspeakable horrors inflicted by him on mankind, and the long-promised, second European front was finally about to open. An amphibeous assault on a scale never before imagined--before or since--was about to take place.
The young men, packed for days into hundreds of troop transports, had an average age of 20 and were from all over the world. The ship's holds were like ovens that stank of sweat, backed up toilets and vomit from those who were sea-sick as a result of the rainy, stormy weather of the English Channel. The long, tough months of training were over and the troops were as ready as they could be. All that remained was a single word from "Ike" at Supreme Allied Headquarters...GO!
We've seen the movies about it--"The Longest Day," "Saving Private Ryan" and others--but it is difficult for most of us to imagine the stress of the assault troops as they waited for the word. And when our men did finally hit the beach or jump from their aircraft they stepped into a hell they could not have imagined in their most horrible nightmares. The fate of the world rested upon the shoulders of those men and and boy, did they deliver! Their courage, honor and sacrifice should be well remembered these sixty-five years later and throughout eternity.
As we celebrate our upcoming watermelon festival, take a good, long look at the so-called "old-timers" marching down the street with the VFW and the other various veteran organizations. Some of these men were there....Normandy, France, June 6th, 1944...D-DAY!