Wednesday, 06 June 2012 00:00

Never Forget

On this day 68 years ago (D-Day - June 6, 1944), my great-uncle, Paul Redden, was stranded at low tide in an LST on a beach in Normandy. He was part of the crew that made innumerable trips back and forth from ship to beach that day delivering troops and equipment in one of the greatest land assaults in the history of war that ultimately turned the tide of World War II.

While waiting for the tide to return, the German guns began to zero in on the stranded landing craft, destroying many. Naval commanders sent "smokers" in to set up as much of a smoke screen as they could to veil the positions of landing craft and troops from German fire. Uncle Paul was among the fortunate ones that day who made it off the beach.

After 68 years, he still cannot talk about his experience there in any detail. What he does say is often through tearful eyes. The floating bodies of US servicemen clogged the beach and had to be pushed out of the way by the ships as they landed. By the second trip, they couldn't lower the ramps without hitting bodies. The water was crimson with the blood of our dead and wounded.

Don't forget.

The path to freedom has been a bloody one filled with sacrifice. Thank a WWII vet today for what they did for you and resolve that their sacrifice will not be wasted.
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