Blackfive is gone, so the posts I did then are as well. However, here is a bit I published on X today.

Had the honor of covering D-Day anniversary a few years ago, and really wish I could be there again today. Met some amazing men and women, who are rapidly leaving this world. Their stories are amazing, to be polite.

Walked with a man, who had landed on Utah that day, as he took his walker cross country at PDH because the path would have been three times as long. He looked around, shook his head, and said “…I thought we had it bad…”

He also shooed off his daughter so he could tell me some of the tales of things he had done in England before that day. 🙂

I met a Brit who had to play dead twice as he went inland. Like pretty much all I met, he was convinced others were the heroes and he was just a bloke who survived.

Or the lady who had been Resistance, who was captured, tortured, escaped, and lived. Her captors and torturers, well, not so much. That sweet grandmotherly type making you the sweets was a true badass back in the day, and I wouldn’t want to cross her today.

Loved watching an old soldier blush as a 30-something French young lady came up, hugged him, kissed him (well) and said “Thank you for my freedom.” He blushed, but he straightend up as he had in youth, and don’t think the smile left him the rest of that day.

So many songs to sing of that day, and they are leaving us fast. Remember them, honor them, this day and forevermore.

An Aside: Back when I was younger, on my first visit to Normandy, I spent some time at Omaha and decided to try going up from the beach to the top of one of the bluffs where such efforts were allowed (at least at the time). I have at various times then and since paced off the emplacements, studied the lines of fire, and am amazed that any survived.

Few people truly realize today that on the eastern part of Omaha, the German machine guns and other delights were literally only a few yards from the normal tide line — and those positions held until well into the afternoon. In fact, one German gunner who finally did pull out, hid his machine gun in the woods between there and the nearest village. Never did say where as he refused to give it to the French and the French would not allow it to be given to the Americans. Stubborn bunch.

The fighting was intense and often at incredibly short ranges. The bluffs may not have been cliffs like PDH, but they were not an easy climb. That Omaha was taken amazes me to this day, and it was done so through more blood and sacrifice than can be imagined. The troops coming in on all the beaches had to cover hundreds of yards in places before hitting the true shore, as they had waited on a historic low tide to help deal with all the obstacles.

Omaha, bloody Omaha. There are no words for thee.

Remember them this day. In the words of Laurence Binyon:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: 

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning

We will remember them.”

2 thoughts on “D-Day”

  1. You ever hear from B5 anymore?

    Lost touch after most of the blogosphere croaked.

    1. Haven’t heard from him in a while now. I see Jim on X a good bit, sorta keep up with Froggy via X, and hear Grim is still going strong at his hall. Really would like to get back in touch with Subsunk and see how he’s doing. Come to think of it, been a while since I talked to Mr. Wolf.

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