By Cameron Gonzales
Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day, the pivotal battle that began the Allied victory in WWII. On that June day in 1944, at least 156,000 allied soldiers launched the largest land, water and air invasion in human history. More than 5,000 ships were deployed, with 11,000 aircrafts providing support and cover from the sky. At least 4,000 allied troops lost their lives that day, sacrificing themselves for democracy, freedom, security, and their home countries. Of those 4,000 deaths, almost 2,000 were American troops. Today is a day to remember that sacrifice and honor those that fought for our country and for the world.
D-Day marked the beginning of the end of WWII and the end of Nazism and Fascism in Eastern Europe. By August, France was fully liberated from Nazi Germany forces. This assured that Germany would not be able to defend itself on the Eastern Front against the Soviets, delivering a significant blow physically and mentally to the German army. The brave soldiers that landed and fought for our security, our freedom and our country deserve to be remembered and honored on this day.
As a 20-year-old college student, the history of WWII will only be learned through detailed stories and statistics on the pages of a textbook. Beneath those surface details, though, are the lives of Americans and the values that are the bedrock of our country. Our responsibility, as the younger generation, is to learn of the sacrifice of our ancestors. To understand the dedication and cost to families that said goodbye to their children, some younger than I was, in order to protect our world. We must continue to remember them through our actions, and by being educated from theirs. We must always strive for a healthy, thriving democracy with a way of life recognized as truly American.
As veterans of that battle in Normandy become fewer and fewer, it is the younger generations job to hear their stories. We must continue to fight for what those soldiers 75 years ago so bravely laid their lives down for. We must care, but we also must ask. The price of freedom, dignity, and democracy has been taken for granted, the price of it is too often forgotten. So today I thank the generation that bore the brunt of the price of democracy. We must truly reflect on the sacrifice that June day, and we must continue to learn from those that came before us, honoring them every day through our actions.
To every generation that paid the price of freedom, I thank you and I hope to honor you in my actions.
To my generation, I urge you to learn about our own history. To honor those that fought, sacrifices, and gave their lives for us to live in a better world. Their bravery should not go unrecognized and their values should always be preserved through our own actions.
To our own Navy Seaman, James Keele (93), who was among the soldiers that landed in Normandy 75 years ago, I thank you for your bravery and your sacrifice.
Let us continue to fight for democracy, security, and dignity at home and abroad. Thank you, and God bless America.