June 6th, 1944 marked the beginning of Operation Overlord. More commonly known as D-Day, the operation involved 156,000 American, British and Canadian landing on five different beaches along the Normandy coast. To this day, it is the largest amphibious assault ever launched. According to history.com, “the Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of the war in Europe.”
By the end of the summer, northwestern France was liberated from Nazi occupation, ending the Battle of Normandy. The tide was turned. German forces were on their heels. The war in Europe would be decided within the year, and in great part because of the efforts and sacrifices of the Allied troops that day.
There are fewer and fewer of those veterans who went ashore on that day and the days following the original landings that are still with us. We must never forget the price that was paid at Normandy by so many young men from America, Canada and Great Britain, along with French and Polish troops. They were participants in an epic struggle for freedom. They went ashore, fought their fears and the enemy with pure grit and determination. So many of them paid the full price that day and in the days following.
For those who fought for freedom on D-Day, this video is for you.