What Were You Doing on D-Day?
Being What You Might Have Been

What were you doing on June 6, 1944? I can’t accurately share with you my activities on that day. I assume that my mother feed me, changed my diapers, and cheered me on as I toddled around my world, which was located at 19 W. Walnut Ave. in Merchantville, NJ. I was probably doing pretty much similar things on June 6th as I did the day before and the day after D-Day in my world at my grandparent’s home.

However, a half a world away, it was radically different. On the shores of Normandy, the Allies had launched Operation Overlord, which consisted of 176,000 soldiers being launch by 6,000 landing crafts.

D-Day invasion

In addition, there were 18,000 parachuted into France behind the enemy lines. This was designed to assist Operation Overlord by pulling German’s off the coastal area.

Eisenhower speaking with the paratroopers

Fortunately, Hitler thought the Operation Overlord was to land at the Port of Calais. The landings at the Normandy beaches were merely Eisenhower’s rouse to distract Hitler’s army from protecting Calais. Additionally, Field Marshall Rommel was visiting his family while on leave. Weather conditions around early June were not an ideal time to cross the Channel due to stormy weather and high seas.

What was interesting about Operation Overload was that it was not as successful in the first couple of weeks as planners had hoped. However, by the end of the month, nearly a million soldiers had landed with vehicles, animation, and various other military supplies.

The D-Day invasion

Today, there is a rapidly dwindling number of Americans who can actually remember D-Day. The vast majority of American remember D-Day from books and movies. The haunting question is, what can we gain by remembering that date and place?

There is a montage of essential things that our generation can gain from remembering D-Day. We will gain if we will stand up against all odds. Regardless of the various battles we face in life, don’t cower in life’s corner. Stand up and fight the good fight. D-Day is a moment in time...a moment in time that has past. There have been many other events since D-Day both large and small. 9/11 was global event of heroism and guts also. However, there have been less well known events in our personals that will measure our personal strength and resolve.

Therefore, as we remember D-Day, June 6, 1944, it is critically important also to remember that the way we act in our lives will determine how our family and friends will remember us. What we deem as important will determine how we will be remember when we are gone. Remember what George Eliot was said to have written, “It's never too late to be what you might have been.”

This video is a part of Band of Brothers.

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