Of all the events in the history of the United States, none has had a greater effect on the world than our involvement in World War II. WWII started September 1939 and ended August 1945. For me, it’s hard to fathom over 30 countries at war resulting in over 80 million folks dead. WWII created and destroyed leaders, heroes, cowards, allies and enemies. Borders and political policies were altered to the point that they shaped the world we have today. For better or worst most of these international bonds are as strong today as they were in 1945.
Operation Overlord is the largest amphibious landing in the planet’s history and took place on June 6, 1944. It is called D-Day. The numbers are staggering with nearly 2 million soldiers, sailors, and airmen from 15 allied countries involved in this operation. The D-Day estimates of American dead, wounded and missing are in the 6,600 range.
. . . these men came here – British and our allies, and Americans – to storm these beaches for one purpose only, not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest, but just to preserve freedom. . . . Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these. . . but these young boys. . . were cut off in their prime. . . I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope, and pray, that humanity will have learned. . . we must find some way . . . to gain an eternal peace for this world. (“Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life,” by Carlo D’Este, p. 705.)