June 6 Is D-Day; Are We Doing Enough To
Honor The Greatest Generation’s Vets?
History Scholar Says Honoring Veterans’ Sacrifice All
The More Important With The Greatest Generation Leaving Us
On the heels of Memorial Day comes the anniversary of D-Day – when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France’s Normandy region. The invasion was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history and required extensive planning.
By June 11, 326,547 troops, 54,186 vehicles and 104,428 tons of supplies had been landed on the beaches. By that time, there were more than 209,000 Allied casualties, with nearly 37,000 dead among the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths among the Allied air forces.
This year will be the invasion’s 71st anniversary, and the last of the battle’s veterans are dying off, which makes honoring their sacrifice all the more important, says history scholar Robert Lundgren.
“The battles of WWII are not only part of our immediate heritage; our success in the war is why our heritage survives today,” says Lundgren, who adds that other veterans of the war also deserve to be honored. Throughout a 10-year period, he wrote “The World Wonder’d: What Really Happened Off Samar”. In the process of writing he had to learn how to read Kanji, which, in 1944, was closer to Chinese than what is spoken today in modern Japan.
“Accuracy in history matters,” he says. “Not only does it inform our current and future decisions – we also owe that integrity for those who fought for our privileges today.”
Lundgren discusses more details from WWII in honor of D-Day.