June 6th marks the anniversary of what’s commonly known as D-day. The operation, also known by its codename OVERLORD, occurred when Allied forces embarked on one of the biggest invasions in human history. The Battle of Normandy (D-Day) took place by air, land, and sea on the coast of Normandy, France. The battle is known as a pivotal point in the war for the allies during World War II.
Veterans of D-Day, who are all in their 90s, visited the sands of Omaha Beach. The location where many of their fellow soldiers’ lives were tragically claimed. Where American, British, and Candian troops stormed onto the beaches of Normandy, that at the time was occupied by Nazi Germany. This push was ultimately needed for the allied forces to move
Charles Shay, a U.S. D-Day veteran at Omaha Beach during the early morning hours reflects on his fallen comrade who 78 years ago passed away at that very beach. “I have never forgotten them and I know that their spirits are here,” he told The Associated Press.
D-Day was chosen on the date of June 6th due to General Eisenhower’s decision to keep track of the moon phase. Due to the direct correlation of gravitational forces that impact the height of the waves. Additionally, the amount of light that’s provided by the reflection of the moon with the length of daylight was also taken into account due to the season.
Paratroopers needed just enough light to be able to see but also be shrouded in the darkness to avoid German anti-aircraft in order to successfully land at their drop sites. Low tide conditions provided the allies visibility to obstacles that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be seen during high tide. The start of summer enabled the allies to have better probabilities in the war feather than the terrible conditions that colder autumn and winter weather that comes at the end of the year.
This year alone war has yet again broken out in Europe, but instead of the West, it’s now towards the East.
Shay, 98, is a Penobscot Native American from the Indian Island, Maine. He was involved in a ceremony known as sage-burning near the Saint-Laurent-sur-Mer beach. He now resides in the very country that holds the beach he landed on that day of June 6, 1944.
He expressed sorrow in seeing yet another war waging in Europe. “Ukraine is a very sad situation. I feel sorry for the people there and I don’t know why this war had to come, but I think the human beings like to, I think they like to fight. I don’t know.”
Written by Skye Leon
Edited by Sheena Robertson
FOX 10 Phoenix: Remembering D-Day: A closer look at one of WWII’s most chaotic and pivotal battles; By Kelly Hayes
APNews: Joy, sadness intertwine at Normandy’s D-Day commemorations; By Sylvie Corbet and Jeff Schaeffer.
MyRGVnews: Date for D-Day strategically chosen; By Special to MyRGV.com