Today, June 6th marks the 75th Anniversary of D-Day,
As dawn broke on June 6, 1944, German soldiers defending the French coast at Normandy beheld an awe-inspiring sight—the largest amphibious invasion force in history massed in the waters of the English Channel. The long-awaited invasion of northwest Europe was underway.
The giant invasion had taken years to organize. Hundreds of thousands of men and millions of tons of weapons and equipment were transported across the Atlantic Ocean to Britain in advance of the operation. The invasion force consisted chiefly of Americans, Britons, and Canadians. But troops of the Free French and many other nations also participated.
The invasion was the culmination of Franklin Roosevelt’s Grand Strategy, especially his decision to pursue a “Germany First” policy and his insistence—in the face of Churchill’s preference for a peripheral strategy—that the operation go forward in 1944.
The Normandy invasion established a solid “Second Front” in Europe. Its success left Hitler’s armies trapped in a vise, fighting the Red Army in the East and an expanding Anglo-American-Canadian force in the West.
During the tense early hours of the invasion, FDR monitored reports from the front. That evening, he delivered a statement to the American people. It took the form of a prayer, which he read on national radio.
On the night of June 6, 1944, President Roosevelt went on national radio to address the nation for the first time about the Normandy invasion. His speech took the form of a prayer.
The date and timing of the Normandy invasion had been top secret. During a national radio broadcast on June 5 about the Allied liberation of Rome, President Roosevelt made no mention of the Normandy operation, already underway at that time.
When he spoke to the country on June 6, the President felt the need to explain his earlier silence. Shortly before he went on the air, he added several handwritten lines to the opening of his speech that addressed that point. They read: "Last night, when I spoke to you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far."
For more information and a video tour of the D-Day Monument please click here
I was very proud of our President --- during the observations. It quite sad to have those vets recognized. Truly ambassadors for the greatest generation.