On this day 75 years ago, arguably one of the most important battles in United States military history took place on the beaches of Normandy, France.
According to historical records, on June 6, 1944, 350,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy in a battle that would ultimately help turn the tide of World War II.
According to official estimates, more than 10,000 Allied troops lost their lives on D-Day fighting against Nazi Germany, something Greater Southwest Historical Museum director Wesley Hull believes all Americans should remember today.
“The Armed forces and our Allies gave everybody the freedoms and liberties that all Americans enjoy,” Hull said. “It is because of actions like that, that we have all this.”
D-Day is believed to be the largest seaborne invasion in history, with the nations of the United States, the British Empire, Canada, Australia, Czechoslovakia, France, Norway and Poland storming the beaches of German-occupied France.
Preparation for the invasion started during 1943. Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would go on to become president, led the invasion.
According to historical accounts, much like Wednesday, the weather was not ideal for flight on June 6, 1944, making the United States Navy a major player in deciding the victory. The brave Allied forces that stormed the beach were met with heavy gunfire from the German military entrenched on the cliffs overlooking the beachhead, documented in countless videos from the day of the invasion.
Each year more Americans who dropped everything to defend our borders from evils abroad are passing away, leaving behind a legacy that will live on forever. Although there are no parades for the victory at Normandy, Hull believes Americans can still celebrate “The Greatest Generation.”
“I think one of the most important things is, if you see a veteran thank them,” Hull said. “Even though they didn’t serve during D-Day 75 years ago, you don’t find a whole bunch that served there. We have a volunteer here on Saturday mornings, a United States Marine and he was on Iwo Jiima the day it started and the day it ended. It is people like that we should think about when we think about what they went through.”
The Greater Southwest Historical Museum will be open tomorrow between 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with several exhibits from World War II on displa