Never Forget.

Today is a sacred day.

Or it should be.

… To all Europeans and to all Americans.

Today is June 6th.

Just a day to most.

But for those who choose to remember –

The 70th Anniversary of D-Day - The day the Allied Forces
invaded “Fortress Europe” to free it from the evil and
oppressing clutches of Adolf Hitler and Nazi Germany.

More than 160,000 US, British, and Canadian forces
crossed the English Channel and stormed 50 mile-strip
of beaches at Normandy, France –

Omaha and Utah were taken by the US, Gold, Juno,
and Sword were taken by the British and Canadian
forces.

More than 14,000 men were killed or wounded.

Likely this is the last major anniversary that we will
celebrate – most of the men who fought there have passed
on.

Today is the day the world said “no more” and committed
itself wholly to defeating evil, throwing all its resources
behind the men who gave everything on the bloody
beaches that day.

I was fortunate enough to visit Normandy 4 years ago
today.

Hard to believe it was that long ago. It seems like it
was just yesterday.

It was one of the most profound events I have ever
experienced and I will cherish the memories forever.

From the battlefield tours – where I walked on both Utah
and Omaha beaches – Utah beach was wide and broad
and the Americans faced very little enemy resistance
compared to Omaha –

Where I stood and looked at the 9 machine gun nests –
you can still see where they were embedded – that cut
down GI’s in deadly crossfires.

To the American Cemetery – where our men are buried
and I saw a flag-lowering ceremony, “Taps,” where the flag
was presented to a loved one of a man buried in the cemetery.

To the C-130 Hercules that flew over the cemetery multiple
times in remembrance…

To the Master Sergeant and Army Ranger I met, who scaled
Pont du Hoc – a cliff face – with his Ranger Battalion – who
fought the Nazis almost to the last man.

I was fortunate enough to be there with my wife and my
parents.

We had planned to meet back there this year, but life took
another turn.

I moved west, and we had 2 beautiful children, and my
parents, were otherwise engaged.

Words cannot express, as I sit here and type with my 3-yr
old son playing next to me, how grateful I am for the
“Greatest Generation.”

I am – We, are here because of their sacrifice.

Here’s a blog post I wrote about my trip. It attempts to
honor them in some small way.

http://chasingstrength.com/504/thoughts-from-normandy/

Whether you read it or not, I encourage you to take a few
minutes today in reflection and thank God – whether you
believe in Him or not – for these brave men who fought
and died for our freedom.

It puts life in perspective.

Thank you to those who served in WWII and are still here.

Thank you to those who carry on the tradition and still
serve today.

Humbly,

Geoff


The American Cemetery, Normandy, France

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