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|The day allied forces landed in France, World War II, occurred 6 June 1944
General military term for the day on which an operation or exercise is planned to commence. The terms D-day and H-hour are used for the day and hour on which a combat attack or operation is to be initiated. "D" is for the day of the invasion and "H" for the hour operations actually begin.
The most famous D-Day is 6 June 1944.
H-Hour is frequently understood with "zero-hour"
(Source: The General Service Schools, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Combat Orders (Fort Leavenworth, Kansas: The General Service Schools Press, 1922).
|The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.|
D-Day Order - June 6, 1944
by Dwight D. Eisenhower
You will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped, and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41.
The United Nations have infiicted upon the Germans great defeat in open battle man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground.
Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned.
The free men of the world are marching together to victory. I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle.
We will accept nothing less than full victory.
Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
President Ronald Reagan speaking at the World War II Pointe du Hoc Ranger Monument, overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of the attack made by the 2nd Ranger Battalion led by Lt. Col. James E. Rudder up the steep cliffs at the beach on that momentous day...
6 June 1984
Omaha Beach, Normandy, France
We stand today at a place of battle, one that 40 years ago saw and felt the worst of war. Men bled and died here for a few feet of or inches of sand, as bullets and shellfire cut through their ranks. About them, General Omar Bradley later said, "Every man who set foot on Omaha Beach that day was a hero."
Some who survived the battle of June 6, 1944, are here today. Others who hoped to return never did.
"Someday, Lis, I'll go back," said Private First Class Peter Robert Zanatta, of the 37th Engineer Combat Battalion, and first assault wave to hit Omaha Beach. "I'll go back, and I'll see it all again. I'll see the beach, the barricades, and the graves."
Those words of Private Zanatta come to us from his daughter, Lisa Zanatta Henn, in a heart-rending story about the event her father spoke of so often. "In his words, the Normandy invasion would change his life forever," she said. She tells some of his stories of World War II but says of her father, "the story to end all stories was D-Day."
"He made me feel the fear of being on the boat waiting to land. I can smell the ocean and feel the seasickness. I can see the looks on his fellow soldiers' faces the fear, the anguish, the uncertainty of what lay ahead. And when they landed, I can feel the strength and courage of the men who took those first steps through the tide to what must have surely looked like instant death."
Private Zanatta's daughter wrote to me, "I don't know how or why I can feel this emptiness, this fear, or this determination, but I do. Maybe it's the bond I had with my father. All I know is that it brings tears to my eyes to think about my father as a 20-year-old boy having to face that beach."
The anniversary of D-Day was always special to her family. And like all the families of those who went to war, she describes how she came to realize her own father's survival was a miracle: "So many men died. I know that my father watched many of his friends be killed. I know that he must have died inside a little each time. But his explanation to me was, "You did what you had to do, and you kept on going."
When men like Private Zanatta and all our Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy 40 years ago they came not as conquerors, but as liberators. When these troops swept across the French countryside and into the forests of Belgium and Luxembourg they came not to take, but to return what had been wrongfully seized. When our forces marched into Germany they came not to prey on a brave and defeated people, but to nurture the seeds of democracy among those who yearned to be free again.
We salute them today. But, Mr. President [Francois Mitterand of France], we also salute those who, like yourself, were already engaging the enemy inside your beloved country the French Resistance. Your valiant struggle for France did so much to cripple the enemy and spur the advance of the armies of liberation. The French Forces of the Interior will forever personify courage and national spirit. They will be a timeless inspiration to all who are free and to all who would be free.
Today, in their memory, and for all who fought here, we celebrate the triumph of democracy. We reaffirm the unity of democratic people who fought a war and then joined with the vanquished in a firm resolve to keep the peace.
From a terrible war we learned that unity made us invincible; now, in peace, that same unity makes us secure. We sought to bring all freedom-loving nations together in a community dedicated to the defense and preservation of our sacred values. Our alliance, forged in the crucible of war, tempered and shaped by the realities of the post-war world, has succeeded. In Europe, the threat has been contained, the peace has been kept.
Today, the living here assembled officials, veterans, citizens are a tribute to what was achieved here 40 years ago. This land is secure. We are free. These things are worth fighting and dying for.
Lisa Zanatta Henn began her story by quoting her father, who promised that he would return to Normandy. She ended with a promise to her father, who died 8 years ago of cancer: "I'm going there, Dad, and I'll see the beaches and the barricades and the monuments. I'll see the graves, and I'll put flowers there just like you wanted to do. I'll never forget what you went through, Dad, nor will I let any one else forget. And, Dad, I'll always be proud."
Through the words of his loving daughter, who is here with us today, a D-Day veteran has shown us the meaning of this day far better than any President can. It is enough to say about Private Zanatta and all the men of honor and courage who fought beside him four decades ago: We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.
To serve my country day by day
At any humble post I may;
To honor and respect her flag,
To live the traits of which I brag;
To be American in deed
As well as in my printed creed.
To stand for truth and honest toil,
To till my little patch of soil,
And keep in mind the debt I owe
To them who died that I might know
My country, prosperous and free,
And passed this heritage to me.
I always must in trouble's hour
Be guided by the men in power;
For God and country I must live,
My best for God and country give;
No act of mine that men may scan
Must shame the name American.
To do my best and play my part,
American in mind and heart;
To serve the flag and bravely stand
To guard the glory of my land;
To be American in deed:
God grant me strength to keep this creed!
Breathes there the man with soul so dead,
foreign strand = foreign land
Patriotic Prose / Poetry Interesting, hard to locate items !
Patriotic Poems More patriotic poems for your celebrations !
See Veterans Day Poetry for pieces specifically about the soldier and from the soldier
Folding the Flag
The following information on Folding the Flag was sent by Russell Maynard of Michigan. Did you know that government schools stopped teaching this in 1955? Sad, isn't it! The flag is folded 13 times to symbolize the original 13 colonies, but there is much more to the flag folding. Read on ...
The 1st fold of our flag is a symbol of life.
The 2nd fold is a symbol of our belief in eternal life.
The 3rd fold is made in honor and remembrance of the veterans departing our ranks who gave a portion of their lives for the defense of our country to attain peace throughout the world.
The 4th fold represents our weaker nature, for as American citizens trusting in God, it is to Him we turn in times of peace as well as in time of war for His divine guidance.
The 5th fold is a tribute to our country, for in the words of Stephen Decaur, "Our Country, in dealing with other countries, may she always be right; but it is still our country, right or wrong."
The 6th fold is for where our hearts lie. It is with our hearts that, "We pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States Of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
The 7th fold is a tribute to our Armed Forces, for it is through the Armed Forces that we protect our country and our flag against all her enemies, whether they be found within or without the boundaries of our republic.
The 8th fold is a tribute to the one who entered into the valley of the shadow of death, that we might see the light of day.
The 9th fold is a tribute to womanhood, and Mothers. For it has been through their faith, their love, loyalty and devotion that the character of the men and women who have made this country great has been molded.
The 10th fold is a tribute to the fathers, for they, too, have given their sons and daughters for the defense of our country since they were first born.
The 11th fold represents the lower portion of the seal of King David and King Solomon and glorifies in the Hebrews' eyes, the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
The 12th fold represents an emblem of eternity and glorifies, in the Christians' eyes, God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.
The 13th fold, or when the flag is completely folded, the stars are uppermost reminding us of our nation's motto, "In God We Trust."
After the flag is completely folded and tucked in, it takes on the appearance of a cocked hat, ever reminding us of the soldiers who served under General George Washington, and the sailors and marines who served under Captain John Paul Jones, who were followed by their comrades and shipmates in the Armed Forces of the United States, preserving for us the rights, privileges and freedoms we enjoy today. There are some traditions and ways of doing things that have deep meaning. In the future, you'll see flags folded and now you will know why.
Internet Field Trips
Landing in Normandy The equipment, the preparation, the beaches, the logistic, the French population before and after the DDay. Lot of text, maps, graphic and photographs. (It'll work great if you speak French. However, all is not a washout for those of us who do not speak French due to the graphics)
WWII This is an absolutely incredible web site with respect to WWII
American Fighter Pilot Aces of World War Two It features brief biographies & stories of the high scoring American fighter pilots of the Second World War. USAAF, USMC and USN
aces of Europe & the Pacific included with summary tables at the start of each section (pilot, kills, medal, unit, plane flown). Not many graphics, mostly text. From Stephen Sherman.
Continental Army Band
The United States Continental Army Band of Fort Monroe, Virginia
Includes leaders/directors, events, listening room which includes arrangments from their Concert Band, Ceremonial Band, Chorus, Strings, Blues, Herald Trumpets, Brass Band, Chorale, and Brass Quinetet and more. Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music. (Special Note: the Army Band link is temperamental ... if it does not work the first time check back in 3-5 minutes. However, the "listening room" link does not appear temperamental! Go figure!)
Includes audio clips on Stars & Stripes Forever, This Is My Country, Anchors Away (has choral arrangement), Gershwin Fantasy, Overture, Nutville, Clydascope, Thank You, I Wish, Rocky Top and Sugarland Run all performed by the USN Band and pretty much anything else you would care to know about the USN band. Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.
Includes history, public events, and you can even listen to the Marine Hymn while singing along with the lyrics that are provided and the history behind the Marine Hymn. Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.
Includes audio of the Star-Spangled Banner, US Air Force Blue, and Lord, Guard and Guide the Men Who Fly. Click here to go directly to the audio clips Be sure to check out their links page for more military band music.
U.S. Coast Guard Band
Learn about their history and more plus Coast Guard audio of Semper Paratus and I'M Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter
Can't get enough military bands and music? Check here
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