On This Day… We Stood With Our Allies

In these times, when an American president won’t state we’ll stand by our Allies… lest we forget… 73 years ago we did stand together to fight and defeat a great evil.

On July 25, 1998 I sat in a theater and never have I had a more gut-wrenching moment brought about by a movie opening. As I watched it, I heard the man next to me–a gentleman much older than me–his deep wracking breaths… eyes fixed on the screen glistened and caught light from the screen. Moved even more by wondering what he was feeling, I turned back to the movie. Afterward, as we left, I watched him and a tiny gray-haired woman shuffle slowly out of the theater. As we got into brighter light, I saw that he wore a faded Army utility jacket emblazoned with the Big Red One on his shoulder. He was still quietly crying as the woman hugged his arm tightly to her. I’m still moved as I recall this.

The 1st Infantry Division–the Big Red One–and one regimental combat team from the 29th Infantry Division comprised the first wave of troops that assaulted German Army defenses on Omaha Beach on D-Day.The division had to run 300 yards to get to the bluffs, with some of the division’s units suffering 30 percent casualties in the first hour of the assault.