President Franklin Delano Roosevelt asks the country to pray the morning of June 6, 1944.
“They fight not for the lust of conquest, they fight to end conquest.”
On June 6, 1944 156,000 American, British, Canadian and French troops began “Operation Overlord” to liberate Western Europe from Adolph Hitler and Nazi Germany. Known as D-Day, this day ultimately ended with Germany’s surrender on May 8, 1945.
The soldiers on D-Day landed on 50 miles of beaches code-named Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah and Omaha in the Normandy Region of France. By days end, approximately 4,500 Allied soldiers were killed and thousands more wounded. On Omaha Beach, American casualties numbered over 2,000.
The individual stories of D-Day are too numerous to list. Needless to say, there were incredible acts of bravery. Americans faced a formidable German army that was fighting from entrenched positions. But after difficult combat, Allied soldiers succeeded in establishing a beachhead. Their success led to months more of combat and hardship for American soldiers, but it also led to the liberation of millions from the great evil of Nazi Germany. All Americans need to appreciate this sacrifice.
9,387 American soldiers are buried at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial overlooking Omaha Beach in France. These soldiers died on D-Day or on subsequent missions.