Sunday, June 7, 2009

D Day Remembered

Unfortunately technical difficulties kept us off line the last several days.

However, we would be remiss if we did not recognize 65th anniversary of the Allied landing at Normandy.

The highest ranking officer in the first wave was Theodore Roosevelt Jr., son of President Theodore Roosevelt. General Roosevelt could easily have sat out the war. He was too old for the draft, was financially well off and had served in WWI. Indeed, WWI wounds forced him to walk with a cane.

Instead, he went to war, serving in North Africa and Normandy until his death from a heart attack in July, 1944.

His service on D Day earned him the Medal of Honor. More importantly, he exemplifies the spirit and dedication of all the young men who went ashore that day, that we might live in freedom.

General Roosevelt's Medal of Honor citation reads:

For gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty on 6 June 1944, in France. After 2 verbal requests to accompany the leading assault elements in the Normandy invasion had been denied, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt's written request for this mission was approved and he landed with the first wave of the forces assaulting the enemy-held beaches. He repeatedly led groups from the beach, over the seawall and established them inland. His valor, courage, and presence in the very front of the attack and his complete unconcern at being under heavy fire inspired the troops to heights of enthusiasm and self-sacrifice. Although the enemy had the beach under constant direct fire, Brig. Gen. Roosevelt moved from one locality to another, rallying men around him, directed and personally led them against the enemy. Under his seasoned, precise, calm, and unfaltering leadership, assault troops reduced beach strong points and rapidly moved inland with minimum casualties. He thus contributed substantially to the successful establishment of the beachhead in France.

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