Today marks the anniversary of one of the most important days in world history: The landings on Normandy Beach.
On June 6th, 1944, thousands of allied troops embarked on a journey from which many would not return. They got into boats and crossed the English Channel as part of Operation Overlord, the invasion of Normandy France to fight the enemy forces. This marked one of the largest troop deployments in history, with 156,000 Allied troops deployed to take on 50,000 Axis troops. With the casualties ranging from 15,000-20,000, this was one of the most violent times during World War II.
The interview above is with Mr Sergio Moirano a member of the 90th Infantry Division, who is an American living in Belgium. The interview as taped in the US Embassy in Belgium. His story is exceptional, as he details every part of his journey. Some of his words are truly heartbreaking, as he talks about how he felt beforehand, that the last dinner he ate before deploying, he thought that that would be his “last supper”.
For a fantastic miniseries about the 506th Infantry 101st Airborne division, take a look at HBO’s Band of Brothers. It is an exceptional series that consulted with the surviving members of the unit to give a feel of authenticity. Every D-Day I sit down and watch the first few episodes to remind myself of what the world used to be like. We are extremely fortunate to live in a time without any global conflicts. There are always fights in the Middle East, but there are no massive troop deployments and there is no draft. I am not a warrior, and I thank the world for not forcing me to become one.
However a special bond exists between warriors. On this day, we must remember those who fell during this global conflict, and remember those who are still with us, for they have carried the scars of this conflict their whole lives, in an effort to avoid us from experiencing such devastation.
For a longer look into the events of D-Day, check out this documentary, composed of footage from both German and Allied forces.