D-Day, H-Hour

On June 6, 1944, Allied troops began the liberation of Europe at Normandy. The 82nd and 101st Airborne divisions as well as the British 6th Airborne division dropped inland while the US, British, and Canadian infantry stormed the beaches. Operation Overlord as it was called, led to the liberation of France and set the German army in motion of their eventual surrender nearly a year later.
Many people have come up with creative things that the D in D-Day stands for, the truth being that it doesn’t really stand for anything. D-Day was and is a term that the military uses both to keep true dates secret and to allow variable days. In order to get the full effect the Allied armies were going for, the invasion at Normandy had to be kept secret. Even the soldiers themselves didn’t learn where or what they were preparing for until the last minute. This the date was discussed as D-Day H-Hour. The plans were put on hold for a day due to weather. Many other operations were planned as diversions for the Axis intelligence to learn of including an invasion through Norway or the South of France. In one operation dummys were dropped with parachutes to draw the attention and divert forces from the true drop zones.
53,700 soldiers on the Allied side were killed during this invasion of Europe, while over 150,000 were wounded. Today as you sip your Starbucks coffee or lift a frosty beer, think of these men who ran into enemy fire, some who threw themselves out of airplanes into exploding anti-aircraft shells. Think of these heroes who gave up everything and think of the heroes of today who are putting themselves in the middle of a messy situation so that liberty can be extended to people who cried out for it. Warfare may have changed significantly in the last 62 years, but the heart of a hero remains the same and is something none of us should take for granted, regardless of our politics or personal ideals. God bless the men who went to battle then and God bless our troops today.

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