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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Remember D-Day: June 6, 1944

The following video was made by an 8th grader for a school project:


Two of my cousins served that day; one cousin was in the Army and the other in the Navy — at Omaha Beach, I believe.

Both men, in their late teens and early twenties respectively, came home physically whole, but they were never again whole psychologically. They refused to speak about what they experienced there, but we all knew that what they did and saw was horrible because they had nightmares for the rest of their lives. Nonetheless, they were among two of the staunchest patriots I have ever known, and they often said, "No regrets!" [about serving].

Both of my cousins died young: one at age 39 and the other at age 44.

19 comments:

  1. An amazng video, AOW. I don't think any of us can imagine the horror those men went through. Each and every one of them is a hero.

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  2. My grandfather served in WWII. He helped liberate Ohrdruf.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ohrdruf_concentration_camp

    To his death he would never talk about what he saw. This was of great disappointment to me although I knew he had his reasons and respected that. I was just always sad that he had to carry that with him but also proud that he was able to.

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  3. Thanks for the rememberance. We must not forget what tyrants can do.

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  4. Smart kid.

    When I hear stories like this AOW, I recall a painting on the pax terminal wall at Bagram, Afghanistan. It is dedicated to the fallen of OEF, but it applies to all veterans of all wars:

    "...Live a life worthy of their sacrifice."

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  5. I want to call these two items to your attention.

    1. The National D-Day Memorial

    2. Obama is not scheduled to commemorate D-Day. Instead, he'll be fundraisning in sunny California (San Francisco and Beverly Hills). Not even a brief observation from Obama on this 68th anniversay of D-Day. Figures.

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  6. I think had Mr. Obama been alive on 6 June 1944, we would not have needed the 160,000 troops who landed in Normandy that day. He could have defeated Hitler’s Atlantic Wall all by himself.

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  7. My uncle went ashore on Normandy Beach one day later, on D-Day+1. He was a medic with the 2nd Armored Division and credited with saving many lives, awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Silver Star. I have the original typed citations on badly yellowed paper.

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  8. Just shared this video on Facebook.

    My grandfather was in the Navy and received two purple hearts.

    It's a shame what the Obama administration has done our men and women in uniform.

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  9. Thank you for posting the video. It tells the story, well. Also, thanks to your family for defending our liberties.

    Good post.

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  10. Standing on Omaha Beach gives one shivers. They ADORE us in that part of France. ADORE us, believe it or not.
    MANY soldiers came back changed ... but, somehow, they survived without expecting help, without expecting welfare, without feeling they had to talk about nothing but that....
    Men have changed...that's for sure.

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  11. __________ QUESTIONS__________

    How does it feel to be cut in half
    _____ by a sudden burst of machine gun bullets?

    

What does it feel like at the precise moment
    _____ when a bullet enters your eye, and pierces your brain?



    Can you imagine having your lower jaw smashed by bullets
    _____ and then see its bloody, splintered fragments
    __________ drop to the ground ?

    

What is it like to take a direct hit to the skull?
    _____ Would you know that you were dead?

    

What sensations must a person feel
    _____ as his body is being consumed by fire?




    What would be the thoughts of someone
    _____ just thrown to the ground and kicked,
    __________ whose hands have been tied behind his back, who then gets chained by his heels
    _____ to the rear end of a vehicle
    __________ about to drag his still-healthy, still-unbroken
    _______________ young body over stones, gravel,
    ____________________ dirt and thorny stubble?



    How does it feel to have the flesh ripped off your cheeks?
    _____ To have all the flesh on your hands torn off
    __________ exposing bones and tendons?

    How does it feel to have grit and gravel
    _____ embed themselves in your eyes?

    How does it feel to be torn
    _____ limb from limb by a jeering mob? 



    Exactly how does it feel to have your head
    _____ stomped to jelly by hobnailed boots?

    Or your genitalia ripped out by the roots
    _____ and stuffed into your screaming mouth?

    

How does it feel to be smart enough to realize
    _____ you are suffering and dying for the sole purpose
    __________ of lining the pockets of international bankers, _______________ global industrialists and the suppliers
    ____________________ of war materiel with gold?

    

Exactly how would you react to being held down
    _____ and having your teeth kicked down your throat,
    __________ your eyes gouged out,
    _______________ your ears and your nose sliced off,
    ____________________ or a glass rod inserted in your urethra
    _________________________ and then broken?

    

How would you feel when you are forced to eat
    _____ ground glass or drink hydrochloric acid?

    

How would you feel if you were sodomized by barbarians
    _____ then buried up to your neck in sand
    __________ and systematically stoned and kicked to death?

    

How does it feel to be held down and deliberately blinded by acid?

    

How does it feel to be maimed or blinded by “Friendly Fire?

    

How does it feel to be flayed alive
    __________ and then slowly cut to ribands?



    How? How? How?



    But much more important is
    



    WHY?

    

WHY?

    

WHY?



    ~ FreeThinke - June 6, 2012

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  12. I am so sorry that blogger refuses to accept properly formatted poetry that requires indentation, if it's been transferred from another source.

    It's frustrating, but apparently can't be helped.

    Too bad!

    ~ FT

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  13. At the begining of this video Dieppe is mentioned, as a catastrophic failure...you can thank those limey a-holes for that, Mountbatten in particular. Even though the meglomaniac was told there was no way it could succeed, he gladly sacrificed 2000 Canadian Commandos for his own glory. 50 US Army Rangers also took part and they were all killed or taken prisoner, thanks to that turd Mountbatten. My uncle took part in this raid which was meant to kill as many Germans as possible , then withdrawl. He survived, to return on D-Day, and he survived the war as well.

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  14. My uncle served in the Army for four years before World WAr II. He was recalled for the war, went ashore at Normandy on the second day. Twice wounded, he earned the Bronze Star. After the war, he was demobilized, but then they called him back for the Korean War. At this point, he decided he may as well stay in the Army because by then, he had ten years of service.

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  15. FT,
    Blogger doesn't offer the alignment of poetry lines in comments and minimal alignment in a blog post itself. After all, Blogger is a free service, so I can't whine too much.

    ----------

    War is HIDEOUS. But sometimes not going to war leads to outcomes even more hideous. There is also the matter of self-defense -- particularly when an invading horde (such as the Nazis in WW2) sweep over another sovereign nation.

    As you know, I am not an aggressive person. However, I WILL defend myself. Countries do the same -- and, in my view, rightly so.

    And, yes, we do have wars for strictly-political purposes.

    Those of us who have never served on the field of battle cannot possibly understand the alternate reality there. This was again brought home to me when I watched part of the film Full Metal Jacket over the weekend. Perhaps Mustang, USMC retired, is reading this comment and will let me know what he thought of that particular film.

    The Bible truly does not promise "peace in our lifetime."

    Furthermore, the seeds of a war are often planted during the previous war. Remember the treaty that ended WW1, "the war to end all wars."

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  16. Z,
    Thank you for your comment. I do wish that Americans as a whole today held our battle veterans in higher esteem.

    I'm not sure that I could stand to visit Normandy. Battlefields make me "uncomfortable" (Can't think of a better word on only one cup of coffee).

    I don't personally know a single WW2 veteran who expected a handout when returning home from the battle front.

    In fact, my Uncle Bill, grievously wounded in WW1, didn't expect Uncle Sam to take care of him. Although our nation clearly did owe my uncle that debt: he could never work again after sustaining all those shrapnel wounds AND being gassed in the trenches (in Belgium, I think).

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  17. Sam,
    One of my cousins was one of the first to make it to the shores because he was one of the supplies personnel. He wasn't physically wounded, and his mother was certain that his not being wounded at all was a miracle from God.

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  18. Sam,
    You've brought something to my attention. I don't know if either of my cousins earned medals. They well MIGHT have; they were the kind of person who would have stuffed the medals into a drawer and not spoken about any honors received. I suspect that one of my cousins won a medal because of all that went on at his funeral; I was quite young at the time and don't recall the particulars of that day, for one reason, that my mother had a heart attack just a few hours after seeing him in the casket at the funeral home. She and that cousin were like brother and sister, and the shock of seeing him dead was too much for her already-damaged heart.

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  19. AOW,

    I sent that poem to a select few friends privately. One of them, a very sensible, well-educated woman and mother of five with a degree in Theology from Yale, wrote back "Too dark!"

    I'll share what I said to her in response:

    There's nothing "good" about war. What I describe is EXACTLY the kind of stuff that happens -- to hundreds of thousands on ands off the battlefield.

    The name of the poem is QUESTIONS.

    There are no easy "answers," of course.

    I'm much in favor of assassinating leaders, both political and ideological, who seem sure to bring trouble BEFORE they get too big for their breeches.

    Commando Hit Squads should have taken out Hitler and killed the Emperor of Japan -- and demolished the material resources of the Japanese Military -- back in the 1930's.

    We should have destroyed the leadership of the USSR and Red China too BEFORE they became a real threat. General MacArthur wanted to do just that, but Truman fired him, instead. I actually remember when it happened.

    The tactics I mention would have saved MILLIONS of lives, untold human suffering, and the destruction of TRILLIONS of dollars worth of property.

    "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure."

    I believe there are times when one must act [outside the law, if necessary] and be cruel in order to be kind.


    War, as we have known it, should become a thing of the past. There are much smarter, kinder, cheaper and more efficient ways to deal with fractious upstarts and budding tyrants on the world's stage.

    I believe the same extra-legal tactics should have been used on the Mafia -- and the Communists when they started to develop into a serious debilitating influence.

    I'm a frank supporter of the things J. Edgar Hoover and Joe McCarthy tried to do to head off trouble at the pass. Most "modern" conservatives disagree with my position vehemently. Unfortunately, I believe many younger people have been more influenced by the ubiquitous liberal propaganda infusing our lives than they may realize.

    I do resent it when they accuse me of being a fascist. Nope! I just insist have an irritating habit of wanting to think things through for myself.

    I've never been able to accept any dictates or doctrines that don't make sense to me, personally.

    Probably more-than-enough for now.

    ~ FreeThinke

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