On June 5, 1944, Supreme Commander Dwight Eisenhower gives the order of the day “Full victory – nothing else” to paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division at the Royal Air Force base in Greenham Common, England, three hours before the men board their planes to participate in the first assault wave of the invasion of the continent of Europe.
You might ask why I mention the 101st Airborne Division on the day before D-Day. My brother Bob was in the 101st Airborne much later and since he has now left us for his place above (but not before instilling in me his deep respect for the men he served with), I thought of all those paratroopers before his time, who participated in the drop. Not for a minute do I not also show the greatest respect for those troops who came by whatever boat could cross the waters and ran the beaches against the German deadly machine and mortar fire from their dug-in safety. We lost close to 90% of those men; they died to enable others to climb over their bodies and prevail. I am desolate when I read battle stories for I am unable to separate the big picture of who won from the suffering and death of the battle participants.
As a woman who is connected to the earth and life, I shiver at any loss, but I applaud the bravery of our troops then and now. I do not forget their stand for us. I was not there then. It was before my time, but I am here now and have watched during my time so much loss. For those of us who have never faced that kind of personal loss, I sincerely hope that you will join me in remembering the collective loss of our neighbors and citizens who fought for us. Remember their sacrifices by thinking kindly everyday about all those folks you connect with; treat all with respect; empathize and help whenever you are able. Make D-Day and all the other battles fought for us a catalyst for a positive attitude of working together respectfully for the good of our nation and its people in REMEMBRANCE.
K. B. Pellegrino, Author