June 6, 1944
There were many “D” Days during WWII; including those in the Pacific, in North Africa, and in Sicily and Italy. The D in D-Day has many meanings. I had always thought it was specific to the invasion of Normandy and had something to do with defense-attacking the enemy.
I found it has many meanings depending on who you ask. But the most common one I came across in my research was the “D” in D-Day merely stands for Day. This coded designation was used for the day of any important invasion or military operation. For military planners (and later historians), the days before and after a D-Day were indicted using plus and minus signs: D-4 meant four days before a D-Day, while D+7 mean seven days after a D-Day.
It is June 6, 1944 Operation Overlord, that stands out among all the other D-Days of WWII. It was this beach landing that would allow the Allied forces to break through the German lines in France, Belgium and the Rhineland. In less than a year on May 8, 1945 the Allied Forces will defeat the Nazi Regime.
We remember this day to honor those men who parachuted behind enemy lines and to the American and British soldiers who landed on the beaches of Normandy – code named: Sword, Juno Gold, Omaha and Utah. And we especially remember those soldiers who are still there in a sea of white Crosses and Stars of David – never to return home.
My father was one of many men who arrived in July of 1944 with the Third Army serving under General Patton, replacing those lives lost the few weeks of the Normandy Invasion. He saw the death and destruction of that day. He fought with the Third Army in France, Belgium (the Battle of the Bulge) and Germany. He witnessed the horror of what happened at the Buchenwald Concentration Camp.
Because of those men on June 6, 1944, the way was opened for my father along with thousands of other soldiers to defeat Hitler and liberate Germany and Europe from the hands of evil.