From 1939-1945, the majority of developed nations on earth were involved in World War II. Following the instability caused by World War I in Europe and Adolf Hitler’s evil rise to power in …
From 1939-1945, the majority of developed nations on earth were involved in World War II. Following the instability caused by World War I in Europe and Adolf Hitler’s evil rise to power in Germany, the Allied forces – including the United States – fought for years in what remains the most devastating war to date. 40 to 50 million lives were lost over the course of World War II, tragically including six million Jewish people who were victims of the Holocaust. It was a terrible moment for the entire world, but it could have been even worse had the United States military not helped bring it to an end.
Seventy-eight years ago this coming Monday, 156,000 American, British, and Canadian soldiers landed on the beaches of Normandy on what has famously become known as “D-Day.” With the Battle of Normandy lasting about two months, this day was the beginning of the end of World War II. Following years of planning, D-Day was the biggest amphibious military invasion in history, and the liberation of Western Europe from the Nazis was a pivotal moment that rocked the entire globe.
From 1940-1945, 34 million men ages 18-37 were registered for the draft. They were ready to put their lives on hold at any moment should their number come up, pressing pause on school, jobs, and family life to go to war. It was one of the world events that shaped what is appropriately called the “Greatest Generation.” This term refers to the Americans who grew up during the Great Depression and fought in World War II. This is a generation of people who lived through one of the most difficult times in America with the Great Depression as children and only to be thrust into the world’s deadliest war as young adults. They shepherded our country through its second century and turned it into the most prosperous nation in world history.
Last Monday we celebrated Memorial Day. As I mentioned last week in this column, Memorial Day is the unofficial beginning of summer, but more importantly it is a time to remember the Americans who served our country. D-Day was a turning point for the world, and the Allies’ victory gave birth to America’s rise as the world’s superpower that became the envy of every other nation. That was accomplished thanks to the 16 million Americans who served in World War II and the bustling country that welcomed them home. As time goes on, fewer members of the Greatest Generation are still with us. If you’re lucky enough to know or meet one, I encourage you to take a few minutes to ask them about their life. You won’t be disappointed.
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