Operation Overlord… 65 years ago today.
"Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Forces:
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944. Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory.
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory.
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking."
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I prayed my Rosary this morning for the souls of all who died this day: Americans, British, Canadians, French [Free French forces and civilians]-and Germans [the ‘ordinary’ soldiers were just as much victims of the Nazis as all the rest of occupied Europe].
Thanks especially to the American GIs who sleep beneath the soil of France…they helped to free Europe from tyranny.
I watched a PBS program on Memorial Day on the American military cemeteries that in Europe, North Africa, and the Philippines…by the time it ended, I was in tears!
To go along with your wonderful tribute to our men who gave their lives for the preservation of the True Religion, here is a link to an awesome 2009 calendar of Catholic Battlefield Chaplains from Angelus Press;
There are photographs of priests offering the Traditional Latin Mass,spanning the War of Northern Aggresion to the Korean War.
If you click on the photo of the calendar, on the site, you will see a US Marine holding an M1 Carbine, going to confession to a priest in the middle of Inchon.
God bless our men!
[I have that calendar and reviewed it on this blog.]
Dan, you’ll find a much more recent picture here: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_e3rhEktRLkE/SifLn_XI1aI/AAAAAAAADRk/pnvlc6BspUs/s1600-h/adorientem.JPG
Thanks for the mention of the priests who gave (and continue to give) so selflessly by accompanying our soldiers into harm’s way. We have had several priests in recent years who have volunteered for the military chaplaincy and who are serving in Iraq. May God watch over them…
On a side note, we continue to have many wounded warriors from the conflicts in Iraq and Afganistan. They need our prayers and much help after they return home. I will be attending a professional conference near the end of the month. As part of the workshop, there will a simulated experience of combat for the attendees(I am really wondering what this is going to be like). The purpose of this workshop is to acquaint healthcare professionals with the symptoms of PTSD so that those affected can be referred for treatment. For anyone who lives in the Chicago area and who is interested in attending, here is the link:
The veterans of WWII will always be held in deserved high respect. There were many engagements, in the Pacific in particular, that required even greater sacrifice than the Normandy invasions. This is a good time to remember also these others who are unheralded in popular history.
I also like to remember the veterans of later wars, especially Korea and Vietnam. The Korean veteran is the least recognized of all. One such veteran who should be in the memory of all is Fr. Emil Kapaun, Captain, U.S. Army Chaplain Corps:
There has never been one more deserving of the U.S. Medal of Honor. He was instead postumously awarded the second highest decoration for bravery, the Distinguished Service Cross. Fr. Kapaun represents the best that humanity has to offer.
God bless you for this tribute, Fr. Zuhlsdorf.
God bless you.
God bless you.
The fellow who couldn’t see any reason for precision in the use of the biretta by priests, birettiquette, on a Fr Z post yesterday should be required to look at this photograph.
What if each burial crew had been allowed to dig at will?
There is power, beauty, and yes, reverence in precision. Maybe all stemming from truth and love.
In response to Mike Morrow,
Because it’s Saturday, we had a Memorial Liturgy for those who have fallen asleep in the Lord today. Before Matins began, Father asked us to remember those who had given the ultimate on D-Day.
I watched all these clips on youtube.
My anti-spam word is “continuity.”
I pray for our fighting men, and that we, not so many years later, may be worthy of their sacrifice.
We visited the Military Cemetery near Omaha Beach November before last; it brought tears to our eyes seeing white crosses laid out precisely as far as the eye could see amidst peace and calm.
This photo and recent programmes on TV here in the UK have been a timely reminder of the sacrifice of many for freedom for us.
My mother remembers listening to the invasion on the radio. She was 18 at the time. Shortly
after that she went to work for the Army Corps of Engineers as a secretary. She
requisitioned things like pontoon bridges for shipment to the European Theater. In her job,
she knew when the troops were going to be shipped overseas, but of course was not allowed
to tell anyone. She has often mentioned lying awake at night during the war and listening
to the troops marching to the railroad depot, knowing many of them would never return.