"Face downward, as far as eyes could see in either direction were the huddled bodies of men living, wounded, and dead, as tightly packed as cigars in a box… Everywhere, the frantic cry, 'Medics, hey, Medics,' could be heard above the horrible din." Indeed, for some the racket was worst of all: "The noise," said another, "always the noise, naval gunfire, small arms, artillery, and mortar fire, aircraft overhead, engine noises, the shouting and the cries of the wounded". But the sounds weren't what one soldier, who'd been wounded after coming ashore in one of the subsequent assault waves, remembered: "As I painfully walked back to the beach, thousands of parts of bodies lined it. They were floating, heads, arms, legs. I realized what being in the first wave was all about."
- a veteran to Stephen Ambrose, historian and biographer, author of Band of Brothers.
Freedom... isn't for free.
The man you see lying there... has a name and a history. The fact that the photo is gray, grainy and... old... does not mean that it magically transforms its subject into some fictional character which never existed. Once upon a time, this young man loved, told jokes, was exhilarated about some great prospect. History and fate dictated otherwise and forced him to confront great evil. He took the challenge like a man... and did not survive it. A young life cut short, a life which might have been full of joy, love, and great expectations. Because of his sacrifice and the sacrifice of his comrades, the lives of many, many more... were full of joy, love, and great expectations.
May we never forget.