The closest I ever came to understanding D-Day was watching “Saving Private Ryan”.
Until last week.
Even the movie made me glad that I did not have to wade ashore on Omaha Beach.
It was not until I stood on the vast beach with nowhere to hide and looked up at the very visible remains of the German fortifications that I became truly thankful for those who did.
It made Tom Hanks’ line in the movie, “You can either die here, or up there” make sense.
When looking through the openings of the concrete and steel German bunkers…
…you don’t have to have any military training to realize just how vulnerable our soldiers were.
There was nowhere for them to go but straight into the German line of defense.
By the thousands, many of them are buried just a hilltop away in a beautiful and meticulously kept cemetery of simple white crosses and Stars of David.
One cannot leave there without awe of the enormity of those few days.
This day will always have a deeper meaning for me.