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Imagine — June 6, 1944. World War II had ravaged the world for five years: lives had been lost, territories ceded, ideological clashes met head-on. Initial German successes floundered, with their defeat at Stalingrad in 1943.
And then, on June 6, 1944 — a date now etched into public memory — D-Day, the allied forces – 130,00 of them — landed at Normandy, establishing five beachheads, code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. In so doing, the allies entered German-occupied territory, allowing them to recapture Western Europe.
Approximately, 12,000 allied lives were lost that day, mostly at Omaha; it was a huge naval victory and the result of years of wartime planning. (Although D-Day was initially planned for June 5, and was delayed due to poor weather.) D-Day significantly contributed to the end of the Second World War in 1945.
I’m embarrassed to admit that while I knew some of those facts, I was definitely hazy on the details of the event that occurred exactly 70 years ago today.
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