A Captain's D-Day Reflection
79 years ago at this very moment, allied forces were fighting in Normandy to free that region from Nazi occupation. Operation Overlord, which included the famous D-Day invasion, was a daring attempt to turn the tide in a war at a point in world events that threatened to sandwich America between encroaching German and Japanese aggressors.
The clip contained herein is from the series Band of Brothers, adapted from Stephen Ambrose’s book of the same title. Near the end of the clip, just before the viewer sees the vast array of air and naval power amassed in one heart-stopping shot, we get a glimpse of some of the men of “Easy” Company, 1-501st Parachute Infantry Regiment. 1st Lieutenant Richard Winters, the focal leader in the series and a true hero, is seen peering out into the distance. Winters doesn’t know it, but when he lands, he is going to be the de facto commander of the company. This is because the commander, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Meehan, is about to be shot down along with many of his men, and will never take up the fight on French soil.
These men who invaded Normandy on D-Day, some 160,000 of them, did so with no guarantee of victory, but knew that accepting this risk was the only way of delivering the West, and by extension, the world, from the clutch of Nazism, and from imperial Japan. Just like our friend, Commander Price, reminded us that “nothing great comes from comfort zones,” the same was true 79 years ago.
The allied forces who landed upon the shores sustained more than 10,000 casualties, with more than 4,400 of those qualifying as fatalities. Freedom, much like today, was not free. Within a year, Hitler was dead, and the Nazi war machine had capitulated.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would become America’s 34th president less than a decade later, encouraged his men:
…The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
Likewise, no guarantees exist today that grant us assurance that our battles will be won to our satisfaction, and in keeping with our desired timeline. But rest assured, these battles must be fought, and must be won if we are to free the future of the oppression that looms ahead.
What is old is new again. We have been here before.
Author’s Note: This journal aims to provide actionable solutions in a time of crisis. We have no choice to act, and to embrace risk as we attack seemingly insurmountable obstacles. Thank you for reading this post, and if you are able to support as a paid subscriber, I would be thankful for your backing.