Joe's Viewpoint: Remembering D-Day

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - The date is June 6th, 1944. It is shortly before 6 o'clock in the morning. As you wait in your higgins boat, packed in with around 30 other men, you open a letter you received the day before.

The letter is from General Eisenhower and it said "You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you... 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."

Eventually the order is given, and your boat chugs toward the shores of Normandy. Some of your brothers in arms vomit from seasickness and fear. You wonder how many of Hitler's buzzsaws line the cliffs before you. You know that you are in the middle of the largest amphibious invasion in the history of mankind. You've made it this far, but you have a bad feeling that you won't survive. This is the situation that the greatest generation faced 70 years ago today. They braved to liberate our conquered allies in France, to divide axis troops by opening another front line, and to make sure the evil of Hitler's nazism was eliminated from the earth for all time.

Seventy years ago a massive group of valiant souls began an operation that would accomplish all these tasks. Today we remember all the men participating in the D-day landings. It is difficult for some of us to fully understand words like duty, honor and valor. But everyone involved in D-day knew well that their job was an honorable one and a necessary one. We now observe a moment of silence to remember the 70th anniversary of the sacrifices of those involved in the D-day landings at Normandy.