On June 6, 2014 we will mark 70 years since the D-Day invasion. Many young men sacrificed their lives to liberate Europe from German oppression.
This invasion was the largest amphibious assault in history. The images of men wading through the water to the beach remind us of that fateful day.
Many stories have been buried with those who died fighting this epic battle, as well as those who have passed away during the ensuing seventy years.
We are fortunate to have historians such as the author of "The Band of Brothers", Stephen Ambrose. "D-Day Illustrated Edition: June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II" is an updated version of a previous book. What makes this revision important is the added collection of over 125 photographs. So many of that era's photographs are virtually disintegrating. The effort to maintain these pieces of history is vital to future generations' awareness of our past.
"D-Day: the Battle for Normandy ", is no white-washed love story to the men who were in charge of the Allies or the Germans. The author, Antony Beevor, voices his dissatisfaction with the leadership on both sides. But, he does give credit where it's due to the men who faithfully carried out their orders. They are the true heroes of this battle. What makes this book unique is that it not only highlights the battle on the beach, but takes you all the way to the liberation of Paris. As a former military man himself, Beevor has a unique perspective.
We can't discuss books about D-Day without mentioning Cornelius Ryan's classic "The Longest Day: June 6, 1944". Ryan's account has been deemed a military masterpiece. So good in fact that it was made into the epic D-Day movie of the same name. It is believed that this book is accurate because it is based on eyewitness testimony that was gathered in the 1950's, not long after the events.
These accounts are gaining importance, as we are now losing the men who fought this battle, and others of World War II, at a rate of 555 per day. Soon all that will remain is their legacy of courage and valor.