Author Topic: Remembering D-Day  (Read 802 times)

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Offline PzLdr

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Remembering D-Day
« on: June 06, 2014, 08:01:00 AM »
My Pop was the smartest man I ever met. Almost illiterate [born here, he grew up in Portugal, then came back], and poorly educated, but SMART. And like many of the greatest generation, Pop wound up in the Army. But he did so in 1940, because although he was a patriot [years later he thought "America! Love it or leave it!" gave slackers too much choice], he also needed a job.

And four years later, on a June morning, my Dad, a combat engineer with the 4th ID went ashore at a place designated Utah Beach [actually they landed a mile or more from where they were supposed to, and where Germans waited for them]. And from there he went to St. Mere Eglese, Cherbourg, eventually St. Lo, and on to Paris, the Huertgen Forest, the Rhine and Bavaria.

But it was always D-Day he remembered most. Like most vets, his war stories were about the funny things, not the horrors, and his D-Day remembrances were laced with as much comedy as he could come up with. But this humble man grasped he had done [along with thousands of others], something stupendous, and of historical import. And he never forgot it. The only book he read, cover to cover, was "Crusade in Europe". The 4th Infantry Division was HIS. And when they hit a rough patch at one point in Viet Nam [my war], Pop took it as a personal insult.

Pop passed in 2001, but the lessons he taught me by word, deed and example are with me still. So today, some 70 years after he waded ashore on the Normandy coast, I think of my Pop- and all the Dads, sons and brothers who waded with them. We may never see their like again. And we should remember them - and what they did.
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Online mountaineer

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2014, 08:38:28 AM »
Amen, PL.  :patriot:
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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2014, 08:44:20 AM »
What a nice tribute to your Pop, PzLdr! :patriot:

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Offline DCPatriot

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2014, 09:20:42 AM »
My father's brother..."Uncle Whitey" stormed the Normandy cliffs.

I was just a child, but I recall my parents telling me that he would NEVER speak about that day...that he would start to visibly shake and his eyes would tear up.

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Online Bigun

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2014, 10:00:44 AM »
My Pop was the smartest man I ever met. Almost illiterate [born here, he grew up in Portugal, then came back], and poorly educated, but SMART. And like many of the greatest generation, Pop wound up in the Army. But he did so in 1940, because although he was a patriot [years later he thought "America! Love it or leave it!" gave slackers too much choice], he also needed a job.

And four years later, on a June morning, my Dad, a combat engineer with the 4th ID went ashore at a place designated Utah Beach [actually they landed a mile or more from where they were supposed to, and where Germans waited for them]. And from there he went to St. Mere Eglese, Cherbourg, eventually St. Lo, and on to Paris, the Huertgen Forest, the Rhine and Bavaria.

But it was always D-Day he remembered most. Like most vets, his war stories were about the funny things, not the horrors, and his D-Day remembrances were laced with as much comedy as he could come up with. But this humble man grasped he had done [along with thousands of others], something stupendous, and of historical import. And he never forgot it. The only book he read, cover to cover, was "Crusade in Europe". The 4th Infantry Division was HIS. And when they hit a rough patch at one point in Viet Nam [my war], Pop took it as a personal insult.

Pop passed in 2001, but the lessons he taught me by word, deed and example are with me still. So today, some 70 years after he waded ashore on the Normandy coast, I think of my Pop- and all the Dads, sons and brothers who waded with them. We may never see their like again. And we should remember them - and what they did.

My father, who left us in 1995,  was on Guadalcanal until a Jap knee mortar round  filled his back with good ole USA scrap iron (shrapnel) and he had to be evacuated. Later he wound up on Okinawa luckily this time after most of the heavy fighting was done there.

Several of my uncles on my mother's side made the D-day invasion either as grunts who waded ashore or as airborne infantry dropped in behind the lines.  The always kind of hung together at family gathers when I was young and never spoke about their war experiences around us kids but that all changed when I came home from Vietnam and became a full member of that group. They all, to a man, suffered greatly for this country and today I cannot discuss what I feel for them and all of their brothers  in arms without getting very emotional and, at the same time, mad as HELL at what we have let this nation that they gave SO much to preserve become!


Offline Relic

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2014, 10:06:41 AM »
I am truly in awe of those men. They did something so courageous, for such a noble purpose, there just aren't adequate words to pay tribute to them.

I can only imagine the terror, and resolve that those men felt in those landing craft before the door dropped. It is the best of humanity, in the worst circumstances.

I'd like to think I could have done what those guys did, but I honestly don't know.

I pray no one else has to ever do what those men did.

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2014, 10:17:27 AM »
I am truly in awe of those men. They did something so courageous, for such a noble purpose, there just aren't adequate words to pay tribute to them.

I can only imagine the terror, and resolve that those men felt in those landing craft before the door dropped. It is the best of humanity, in the worst circumstances.

I'd like to think I could have done what those guys did, but I honestly don't know.

I pray no one else has to ever do what those men did.

Relic I can tell you from hard personal experience that NO ONE knows what they will do when faced with a kill or be killed situation and also that just because you reacted a certain way this time does not mean you will do the same the next time.

Offline alicewonders

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2014, 10:50:03 AM »
Remembrance, thanks and prayers for the 70th anniversary of D-Day.





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Offline EC

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Re: Remembering D-Day
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2014, 02:57:52 PM »
My Uncle Morris, Dad's eldest brother, missed D-Day itself, making it ashore on the 9th. He were a lorry driver with the Transport Corps, a full load of ammunition that was needed fast his load. No one had cleared the part of the beach they landed on yet, so he said he was driving over the dead for about 2 miles. Couldn't slow down, or his lorry would get stuck, so the drive were a constant series of bumps as the wheels went over yet another body. Having to do that changed him. He were a kind and gentle man and not being able to stop and check, move the bodies out of the path at least, hurt him until his dying day.
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