It’s not “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Longest Day” or “Band of Brothers” but it is a commemoration of one of the greatest military operations in the history of warfare, which we all know, to our sorrow, has stretched across millennia. D-Day, June 6, 1944 brought together Allied forces from the United States, Canada, Britain and the Free French partisans to storm ashore to begin the liberation of France and the end of the Axis presence in western Europe. It was preceded by months of code-breaking, prevarication (Operation Bodyguard) and preparation. It culminated on the beaches (Operation Neptune) — Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, Sword—as part of Operation Overlord. The greatest seaborne invasion in history is being remembered by world leaders, politicians, royalty, historians, and survivors (About 300 American veterans are expected to attend); those survivors are growing fewer every year, by the seventy-fifth anniversary of the event, virtually all will be gone.
We have some local “skin in the game.” Airborne Infantryman Alex Gerez, James A Garfield High School graduate, is a part of the group that is involved in the re-enactment scheduled to take place on this historic occasion, probably the last commemoration of its kind. There will be a mass parachute drop, memorial services, tributes , speeches and remembrances. Some 650 American military personnel will be taking part in various events. One of our own carries on his broad shoulders the pride we all feel in the events and outcome of that momentous day so many years ago.
D-Day, June 6, 1944
D-Day, June 6, 2014