70 Years Ago Today, Allied Armies Took A Huge Gamble For Freedom

old photo of My grandfather Wilbur C Arrington in 1944
My grandfather, Wilbur C Arrington in 1944

June 6th is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings on the coast of France. The amazing thing is that the whole operation was kept secret and it was a huge gamble. It was such a gamble that General Eisenhower wrote two letters to announce the landings – one if it was successful and the other one if the landings failed. At least 4,000 allied soldiers died on that day.

My grandpa, Wilbur C. Arrington didn’t arrive in Europe until the fall of 1944 when the Germans had been pushed all the way back to their frontier. Grandpa fought in Company I 397th Infantry Regiment of the 100th Division. He was wounded in an attack on an apple butter factory and got the purple heart medal. Although he brought home some souvenirs, like German money, he rarely talked about his service. He will turn 94 this October.

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My Thanks To Our Veterans

image of Raising the flag on Iwo Jima

My Dad was a US Marine in Vietnam and my grandfather served in the 100th Infantry Division during World War II. Much to the chagrin of my mother I was interested in military service growing up. I thought the uniforms and equipment were cool and I like to camp, right? I had no idea about the mental and physical costs to paid serving in the military. It is nothing like the Hollywood version of war (Platoon, Saving Private Ryan, and Band of Brothers excepted). I tip my hat to all those who serve or have served in the military.

Here is the Marine Corp Band playing “Stars and Stripes Forever”

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In Flanders Fields the poppies blow…

image of my Dad in uniform

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the guns fell silent across the Western Front in Europe. That’s why we mark November 11th as Veteran’s Day to honor not only our war dead (like my father, pictured on the right) but to celebrate the living men and women who put themselves in harms way. Raise a glass to honor and thank them all and hope, one day, no other sons and daughters, moms or dads, or brothers and sisters have to go to war. Here’s a classic poem about war titled “In Flanders Fields”:

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