Friday, June 6, will mark the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy.
As we emerge from Shavuot, memories of what World War II veterans referred to as the “Day of Days” will be upon us. Many of the 9,387 Allied soldiers who died in combat and are buried in the cemetery in Normandy did not make it out of their boats; they were cut down from the fortified positions the enemy constructed.
One hundred forty-nine of the soldiers buried at Normandy were Jews.
On this anniversary, we ask that the day when America and its allies formed a western front to destroy the Nazi juggernaut be remembered.
General Dwight Eisenhower wrote to the Allied Expeditionary Forces: “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 the oppressed peoples of Europe and security for ourselves in a free world.”
The cost was high.
Many of us have relatives who served in the military during World War II. Some of them fought their way into France. On this day of the Normandy landing anniversary, the day after we said Yizkor on Shavuot, may we extend those memories for one more important day.