Sixty-three years ago on this date was the beginning of the Battle of Normandy, the last great push in World War II of the Allies against the Nazis, and the largest amphibious military operation in the history of the world. Its official title was Operation Overlord, but most of us call it simply “D-Day.” American, British and Canadian troops crossed the English Channel and stormed German-controlled beaches. Some divisions, especially the Americans at Omaha Beach, suffered heavy casualties. Despite those early losses (most of which occurred in the early hours of the fighting), the Allies established their beachheads, and their attempt to liberate Europe was successful. The troops who landed in Normandy via beach and parachute had liberated Paris by the end of August; less than nine months later, Adolf Hitler was dead and the war in Europe was over.
The soldiers who stormed the beaches on D-Day were brave, determined, and fighting in a just and necessary war. Unfortunately, the men and women currently serving in Iraq only get two out of three.