OMAHA BEACH

Wherever you are at look around and find 10 people.  If you are not around people, think of 10 names of people you know.  Now imagine that within the next few hours only 2 will remain.  This was what it was like for the first wave of soldiers who stormed Omaha Beach.  I had the opportunity recently to watch the movie ‘Stand by me’ for the first time.  In it one of the characters brags about how his father ‘stormed Normandy’.  His father was also supposed to be in an insane asylum for behavior which included almost burning his son’s ear off by holding it against a hot stove.  The 6th is the 70th anniversary of the Normandy invasion.  As the years progress people forget the total impact of this invasion and the events of Omaha Beach.  Ask yourself how you would feel if you were part of the first wave on Omaha.  Would you be even willing to be part of the first wave?  Many did not even make it to the shore as their craft sunk or was hit by a mortar.  Most of the tanks did not even make it to land.  Many soldiers drowned as soon as they stepped out of their craft.  This is not to rain on anyone’s parade.  But it is supposed to bring things back into perspective that has been lost over the decades. 

If modern media and the liberal mindset were around during the time of the Normandy invasion there would be such a cry of the ‘insanity’ of the invasion and how ‘we need to give diplomacy another chance’.  The list of the dead would be on every newscast.  The evils of war would have been proclaimed from the rooftops.  But, gratefully, they were not present.  Yes there were losses not able to be imagined by the common mind.  And, yes, Nazism was stopped.  Ever stop to imagine a world if Adolf Hitler would have succeeded?  But he was stopped.  People who were scheduled for extermination were freed.  Towns laid waste by the ravages of war were rebuilt. 

I remember an expression from one of the men with whom I worked.  It was simple:  Don’t pole-vault over mouse turds.  What are the priorities of today?  Do our elected officials even have a priority other than to get re-elected? People are worrying about our children getting chocolate milk in school because ‘it is not healthy’ while our veterans get forgotten.  Recently one veteran received his GI benefits from being in WWII.  Within the past 10 years a WWII veteran received his purple heart from being in the Bhutan Death March.  I have worked with veterans who have had claims for benefits take over 5, and sometimes 10 years, to get approved.  Sometimes they die before their cases are approved.  Yet the government has millions they are able to give to study how fish swim and how flies mate. 

I cannot make my government do the right things.  Americans have lost total control over their government.  I cannot tell any of our elected officials to sit down, shut up, and listen.  But I can affect me.  I can make sure that every veteran that I meet on the street has been told thank you.  I can make sure there every veteran I meet has been told ‘welcome home’ regardless of the ear they served. I can make sure that someone shakes their hand, looks them in the eye and shows gratitude.  I can make sure that some old timer who sacrificed for our country gets his coffee paid for by a passing stranger.  If I am in line and there is a WWII veteran in front of me and he has just a few items I can tell the clerk to put his bill on mine.  I can be appreciative of what they did for me, long before I was even born.  This includes all veterans but especially those who literally saved the world. 

America was great.  It fought and won two wars on opposite halves of the world at the same time.  I love my country.  My dad was one of those who fought in the Pacific and my uncle fought in Europe.  He was one who went into the death camps to liberate the prisoners.  I dare anyone to try and tell me that the Holocaust did not happen.  Right now America has lost its position in the world.  I cannot change the world or my government.  But I can change one thing at a time.  I can change me.  I can pray for my country.  I can make sure I support those who defended my country.  I can make bloody sure I fire those who harm my country.  God bless America and thank you beyond words to all those who have defended her and especially those of you remaining from World War II. 

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