Seventy four years ago today, Allied forces led a coordinated attack to liberate France from Germany oppression. At the time, it wasn’t certain that their efforts – though they had amassed the largest naval fleet in the history of the world – would lead to success.
But it did. France was liberated. Nazi oppression was destroyed. The world saw a new birth of freedom. For WWII veterans and Americans, today, D-Day, is a day to remember the sacrifice that was so costly but was even then, as it is now, worth the price.
In Kentucky, a 92-year-old WWII veteran took a moment to talk to news channel WKYT about his experience on that day. He said that he was more than ready to give his life for his country.
“When you take that oath you sign it. You’re willing to give your life if necessary for your country and the world,” said Charles Wilson, who fought with the 4th Infantry Division, 42nd Regiment of Artillery, Battery C.
When his unit came ashore on Utah beach, his tank crew hit a mine, severing the legs of his tank driver. Wilson remembers what he did next.
“I had my tourniquet ready. I put my tourniquet on his left leg, and one of the other boys put it on the right leg. At that moment, we didn’t have to worry about him because he doesn’t have any legs to turn to gangrene.”
When Wilson returned to Normandy four years ago, he was overwhelmed by the experience. He was surrounded by dozens of people as he walked on the sand.
“My knees buckled. I went to the sand. I stayed on my knees, and then when I got up, lifted on my feet, there were over a hundred people gathered around me. And then when I got up, they began to say, ‘it’s gonna be alright now,’” he said.
Here are some reflections of other Americans who have taken a moment today to remember:
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