It’s a Shame Americans Don’t Know the Importance of D-Day - The Missourian: Opinion

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It’s a Shame Americans Don’t Know the Importance of D-Day

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Posted: Wednesday, June 4, 2014 6:00 pm

To The Editor:

This Friday is a historic day. It is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the landing of U.S. and Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, to assault the fortified positions of Nazi Germans. Everything and every person in the United States and the free Allied nations had been working to prepare for this day for the last four years. Building ships, attack aircraft, tanks, landing boats, ammunition of all types. In the United States, all production of civilian products stopped as every factory turned to making military items.

The young men who landed on this day were generally 19 or 20. They went straight from high school graduation into the armed forces and trained to fight. About 2,000 plus of them died on this day on the beaches of Normandy and another 10,000 were wounded. You would think that every American would know this and the importance of this day. At least, as many died on this day as on Sept. 11. Why then does every American not know this? Why do our schools not teach about the importance of this day?

It is a sad commentary on America that a majority of her citizens do not know the importance of this day and the significance of the event. The assault landings on the beaches of Nazi-occupied France. The Nazis were expecting the assault. They had spent 2 1/2 years fortifying the coasts of Europe to stop an Allied assault. Thousands of slave laborers died building the fortification for the Nazis.

The Nazis were preparing and kept building fortifications all along the coasts of France, Holland, Denmark and Norway. They were intent on building “Fortress Europe” that would be impregnable to any Allied assault. The beaches of Normandy are under the watch of 200- to 250-foot cliffs. The Nazis believed that it would be suicide for any Allied forces to land there. The Nazis had installed huge naval guns in super bunkers along the tops of the cliffs to shell any ships that came within range.

The Germans were prepared for this gigantic battle and expected to win it. They underestimated the American soldier, who was willing to give his life to save his buddies. The American soldier who will charge a Nazi machine gun bunker and destroy it, even at the cost of his own life. The American soldiers were determined to do their job and destroy this monster that had enslaved all of Europe.

Why do our teachers not tell their students about this great battle? Why do parents not sit down and tell their children about the importance of this day? I am a war baby, born during World War II. I grew up learning about this day and other important battles and struggles in Europe and in Asia. My dad walked with a limp because he was hit in the knee by a Japanese bamboo bullet. My stepdad was to go ashore on D-Day. His ship was late arriving in England. Another sergeant was sent in his place. All the soldiers on that boat died when it hit a mine.

I have told my children and my grandchildren about the significance of D-Day, Dec. 7, 1941, and events like the Battle of the Bulge. Why have other parents not done so? I followed in my father’s steps and served in the U.S. Army in its battles against the communist invaders in South Vietnam.

Why do we not commemorate this day, June 6, as a national holiday? The French in Normandy do. They remember and celebrate the landing of the Americans every year. You see what they do yet today to remember and honor the D-Day Americans. Yet, we Americans do not even teach our children about this day or its significance.

I talked with a sweet young lady this week and asked her if she knew the importance of D-Day. She gave me this deer-in-the-headlight look and had no clue of what had occurred June 6, 70 years ago. It is a shame. It is a shame on our schools and teachers. It is a shame on all Americans that we do not remember this day and the sacrifice so many made so that we could live in the “land of the free.” It is a shame!

To The Editor:

This Friday is a historic day. It is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the landing of U.S. and Allied troops on the beaches of Normandy, France, to assault the fortified positions of Nazi Germans. Everything and every person in the United States and the free Allied nations had been working to prepare for this day for the last four years. Building ships, attack aircraft, tanks, landing boats, ammunition of all types. In the United States, all production of civilian products stopped as every factory turned to making military items.

The young men who landed on this day were generally 19 or 20. They went straight from high school graduation into the armed forces and trained to fight. About 2,000 plus of them died on this day on the beaches of Normandy and another 10,000 were wounded. You would think that every American would know this and the importance of this day. At least, as many died on this day as on Sept. 11. Why then does every American not know this? Why do our schools not teach about the importance of this day?

It is a sad commentary on America that a majority of her citizens do not know the importance of this day and the significance of the event. The assault landings on the beaches of Nazi-occupied France. The Nazis were expecting the assault. They had spent 2 1/2 years fortifying the coasts of Europe to stop an Allied assault. Thousands of slave laborers died building the fortification for the Nazis.

The Nazis were preparing and kept building fortifications all along the coasts of France, Holland, Denmark and Norway. They were intent on building “Fortress Europe” that would be impregnable to any Allied assault. The beaches of Normandy are under the watch of 200- to 250-foot cliffs. The Nazis believed that it would be suicide for any Allied forces to land there. The Nazis had installed huge naval guns in super bunkers along the tops of the cliffs to shell any ships that came within range.

The Germans were prepared for this gigantic battle and expected to win it. They underestimated the American soldier, who was willing to give his life to save his buddies. The American soldier who will charge a Nazi machine gun bunker and destroy it, even at the cost of his own life. The American soldiers were determined to do their job and destroy this monster that had enslaved all of Europe.

Why do our teachers not tell their students about this great battle? Why do parents not sit down and tell their children about the importance of this day? I am a war baby, born during World War II. I grew up learning about this day and other important battles and struggles in Europe and in Asia. My dad walked with a limp because he was hit in the knee by a Japanese bamboo bullet. My stepdad was to go ashore on D-Day. His ship was late arriving in England. Another sergeant was sent in his place. All the soldiers on that boat died when it hit a mine.

I have told my children and my grandchildren about the significance of D-Day, Dec. 7, 1941, and events like the Battle of the Bulge. Why have other parents not done so? I followed in my father’s steps and served in the U.S. Army in its battles against the communist invaders in South Vietnam.

Why do we not commemorate this day, June 6, as a national holiday? The French in Normandy do. They remember and celebrate the landing of the Americans every year. You see what they do yet today to remember and honor the D-Day Americans. Yet, we Americans do not even teach our children about this day or its significance.

I talked with a sweet young lady this week and asked her if she knew the importance of D-Day. She gave me this deer-in-the-headlight look and had no clue of what had occurred June 6, 70 years ago. It is a shame. It is a shame on our schools and teachers. It is a shame on all Americans that we do not remember this day and the sacrifice so many made so that we could live in the “land of the free.” It is a shame!

/opinion

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