D-Day 75th Anniversary- A Sailor's Story

Discussion in 'Academy/Military News' started by Wishful, Jun 6, 2019.

  1. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    941

    A short video told by a pilot of a Higgins boat.

    The wife & I visited Normandy in June, 2016. Shortly after our visit, a terrorist decapitated a priest while he was saying mass in a nearby church.
    My observations:
    • The affection for Americans the people of this region show in the video we also experienced.
    • The width of Omaha Beach is hard to describe; it's looked to me to be about 3,000 yards from the water's edge to dry land, with no natural obstacles...To say that's a long distance to run while being shot at would be a severe understatement. You catch a glimpse of the width in the video.
    • The Normandy American Cemetery is the quietest place I've ever visited. Very moving.
     
    Devil Doc, AROTC-dad and Capri120 like this.
  2. Capri120

    Capri120 Parent

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2016
    Messages:
    1,095
    Likes Received:
    1,000
  3. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    2,305
  4. USMCGrunt

    USMCGrunt 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Messages:
    2,418
    Likes Received:
    2,305
  5. kinnem

    kinnem Moderator 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,792
    Likes Received:
    5,395
    Supposedly Hitler called Higgin the new Noah.
     
  6. MidCakePa

    MidCakePa Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2018
    Messages:
    1,499
    Likes Received:
    1,909
    In summer of 2016, we visited Normandy and took a private tour of the D-Day battlefields. Toward the end of the day, standing on Omaha Beach, I was very bothered by the sight of people frolicking carefree in the sand and surf. It was on that hallowed ground that so many men fell in the face of withering enemy fire. I said to our guide, a serious and learned Brit, “It just doesn’t seem right.”

    He turned toward the cliffs not far away, pointing to the American cemetery high on Colleville-sur-mer. He said, “The men buried up there would look down on this scene and say, ‘This is the very reason that I fought and died. For freedom.’”

    I simply nodded in understanding and wiped away my tears. DD wrote about this episode in her SA application essays — how it was one of many reasons she was inspired to serve and defend. For those men and for her, I’m very grateful.
     
    Devil Doc, Wishful, AROTC-dad and 2 others like this.
  7. Overwhelmed

    Overwhelmed Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2018
    Messages:
    177
    Likes Received:
    116
    What a powerful video. It really highlights the contribution of the Coast Guard during the invasion as well.
     
  8. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    941
    @MidCakePa: I know what you mean about the beachgoers; I thought the same thing myself. And the cemetery we went to was Colleville-sur-mer, not the one I originally mentioned.
    @Capri120 & @USMCGrunt: Great videos!
     
    MidCakePa likes this.
  9. Jcleppe

    Jcleppe 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2010
    Messages:
    6,652
    Likes Received:
    2,270
    Our local radio station sent a reporter to Normandy for the 75th Anniversary, this is an excerpt from that article.

    "I asked Richard Cottrel why D-Day is important to remember, and he told me what happened when he and his dad were here for the 60th anniversary in 2004."

    "We were here and we were walking up after the memorial here and we had a lot of veterans with us. And there was a woman walking past us, and the French had given a national holiday, and there was people all up and down the beaches. And the woman said, ‘Disgusting. Look at them on the beaches. Don’t they know what day it is today? They should have respect.’ And one of the veterans went up and said, ‘That’s what we fought for. Freedom. That’s freedom there.’ And we all cried. Everyone cried ‘cause it was so poignant."

    This one got me as well.

    "On the road from Bayeux to La Seulles, there’s a farm. The farm was being used as a dressing station, and those the chaps that never made it were buried on the lawn inside. When the hostilities left here, the War Graves Commission went ‘round collecting the lads, ‘cause there were a lot of Airborne hanging about.

    And they come to this farm, and they started to work on taking the bodies out. And the farmer came out and he said, ‘What are you doing?’ and they said, ‘We’re taking them to the main Bayeux cemetery. He said, ‘You’re not.’ He went back indoors. He came back with a double-barrel gun and he said, ‘Them fellas died for us, and the only thing we can do is look after their [bodies].’ And after a bit of consultation, they left it there, and if you go there between Bayeux and Tilly La Seulles, it’s on the left hand side and it’s called ‘Jerusalem.' "
     
  10. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    900
    One of my most memorable experiences was game 1 of the 1999 World Series. Stick with me here.

    My sister-in-law’s college room mate worked for MLB. My brother was a senior supply officer and helped to arrange the Navy pregame fly over. In return he got some tickets and gave me one.
    After a few innings my brother found me and escorted me to the MLB VIP suite where I got to rub elbows with some MLB greats. The most memorable was Normandy vet Yogi Berra who was obviously pleased to be surrounded by fellow sailors and was regaling them with Navy stories as only Yogi could.
     
    Devil Doc, Wishful and AROTC-dad like this.
  11. Wishful

    Wishful "Land of the free, because of the brave..." 5-Year Member

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,300
    Likes Received:
    941
    @UHBlackhawk: Did it get late early while you were there?;)
     
    Devil Doc and UHBlackhawk like this.
  12. UHBlackhawk

    UHBlackhawk Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2015
    Messages:
    697
    Likes Received:
    900
    I wish I had written down some of his comments. Even the other big wig MLB veteran players obviously loved hanging with him and hung on every word in order not to miss one of his “Yogisms”.
     
    Devil Doc likes this.
  13. THParent

    THParent Member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2017
    Messages:
    2,181
    Likes Received:
    3,445
    In 1985, I walked the beach there. I had just lost a good friend in Beirut, and I didn't have any connection to this beach, but I cried. I cried for an hour. I just couldn't stop.
    I am glad that I went there, but I never want to go back. I cannot imagine what it was like for this guy.
     
    kinnem and Devil Doc like this.