It will be quiet-solemn-serene sad today…there…not at ballparks or in the arena or on the tennis-golf course or race tracks.
Step away this morning from all the sports storylines, the Spurs-Heat, Kings-Blackhawks, baseball, NFL, the French Open-Golf, the Belmont Stakes or auto racing.
Close your eyes, see the grainy black and white video. Listen closely and you might hear the sound of artillery, imagine the roar of engines.
70-years ago at this hour, men were landing and dying at Normandy. D-Day, the day they sacrificed so much.
Landing Craft…Withering fire from the hilltops…Explosions..Smoke..
On the Beach…Bodies…Blood in the salt water…death everywhere.
We always use the word in the wrong sense, when we use the word courage. Courage isn’t coming back from a Torn ACL or elbow repair or a rotator cuff.
Courage is what was exhibited 70-years ago this moment, starting at 2:15am Normandy time, and progressing for nearly 16-hours.
At this moment-70 years ago, they were shot out of the sky, they drowned under the weight of their packs in sinking Higgins boats, they were picked off on the beach and going up the cliffs. And yet they came wave after wave.
Salute the stars San Diego. Not a 300-hitter, a 3-point shooter, the goal scorer, or the race car driver. Salute the Greatest Generation-who did what they had to do on the longest day..
A D-Day survivor told me the only thing missing from the opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan, was the smell of deisel fuel. Everything else was as it happened.
There are 9600 buried at Omaha Beach..4600-in the English-Canadian cemetaries in the countryside.
It will be solemn, respectful, sad and proud today, not in a ball park, but at the US Cemetary at Normandy. Close your eyes again and think of the courage. Open your eyes and see those White Crosses. Understand what they mean.