The Longest Day - 6 June 1944 - Ferrari Life
 
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post #1 of 7 Old 06-06-2015, 09:56 AM Thread Starter
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The Longest Day - 6 June 1944

Today is a day for reflection. Exactly 71 years ago this morning my 8th grade home-room teacher sent my class to the auditorium for an assembly at which our principal announced that American, British and Canadian troops - and some Dutch, Czech, Polish and Norwegian soldiers - had landed on the Normandy coast of France and the invasion of German-occupied northwest Europe was on. We had been reading the papers and listening to the radio and knew something like this was imminent and was really big, but none of us had any real understanding of the magnitude nor of the fact that tens of thousands of men would die that day. D-Day the 6th of June meant something to us. Today should be a day of remembrance and thanksgiving for the sacrifices they made.

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post #2 of 7 Old 06-06-2015, 02:20 PM
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During the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Midway, I spent the 4th escorting six surviving veterans. While D-Day is an epic battle of the war, Midway is arguably the most important battle in the history of the world.

I say we mark them both.

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post #3 of 7 Old 06-07-2015, 01:26 AM
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Thanks Seth. We, the occupied nations of Europe, will never forget the sacrifices made.

My grandfather on my fathers' side was forcibly taken away to slave labour in Poland, and my grandfather on my mother's side was involved with harbouring fugitive Jews. Unfortunately, neither of them ever wanted to talk about it. I would have loved to understand that time better, it is hard to imagine what they were going through.

Three years ago I was privileged to visit Omaha and Juno beach and pay my respects. And this year I was moved to be part of a Remembrance Day (4th of May in Holland) formation flight.

Keep the flame alight. And never forget.


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post #4 of 7 Old 06-07-2015, 01:38 AM
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Incidentally, there were some disturbances during the Remembrance Day ceremonies in Holland. Some of our compatriots with a different cultural background felt compelled to disturb the traditional 2 minute silence at 8pm, using at as a platform for their own political agenda.

Shocking as that is, what disturbed me most was the reaction of the people born in Holland. The predominant one was "go back to your own country" and the racism was dripping off most of the other remarks.

This is not why these sacrifices were made. We, the Allies, fought for freedom. Against oppression. Against uniformity. Against punishing other opinions.

We also fought for tolerance. Respect for people that can't defend themselves. We fought the good fight. Where nobility was a unifying factor.

This is the lesson we must teach our recent arrivals, so they can learn to understand that this fight was also fought for them. How disappointing that so few people seem to remember how to give the leading example.


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post #5 of 7 Old 06-07-2015, 07:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Killer58 View Post
During the commemoration of the 73rd anniversary of the Battle of Midway, I spent the 4th escorting six surviving veterans. While D-Day is an epic battle of the war, Midway is arguably the most important battle in the history of the world.

I say we mark them both.
I say you are absolutely right, David. Actually the battle of Midway began earlier than the 4th. As a result of the breaking of the Japanese Naval Code by U.S. Navy cryptanalysts Nimitz knew in advance that Midway was Admiral Yamamoto's target and Midway-based B-17 bombers actually attacked the japanese invasion fleet on 3 June without inflicting any damage. The four Japanese carriers lost in the air-to-sea battle that raged on the 4th might have been replaced but Japan could never replace the skilled and experienced naval aviators she lost at Midway.

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post #6 of 7 Old 06-07-2015, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by JazzyO View Post
Thanks Seth. We, the occupied nations of Europe, will never forget the sacrifices made.

My grandfather on my fathers' side was forcibly taken away to slave labour in Poland, and my grandfather on my mother's side was involved with harbouring fugitive Jews. Unfortunately, neither of them ever wanted to talk about it. I would have loved to understand that time better, it is hard to imagine what they were going through.

Three years ago I was privileged to visit Omaha and Juno beach and pay my respects. And this year I was moved to be part of a Remembrance Day (4th of May in Holland) formation flight.

Keep the flame alight. And never forget.


Onno
Curious, Onno. Three years ago this month Judith and I took the train from Paris to Caen and spent two days visiting Omaha, Utah and Juno beaches. The weather was truly nasty, wet, windy and chilling to the bone, perhaps what it was like on D-Day. Also visited Ste Mere-Eglise where the American 82d Airborne Division landed paratroopers in advance of the beach landings. Very moving, emotional visit.

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post #7 of 7 Old 06-07-2015, 04:58 PM
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Quote:
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...but Japan could never replace the skilled and experienced naval aviators she lost at Midway.
Or the 700 airplane mechanics!

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