Today is the 71st anniversary of D-Day, one of the largest amphibious invasions in history. Besides being a prime number, there’s nothing special about the number 71 so you won’t see the wider coverage we enjoyed last year except for some stuff maybe on the History Channel. It’s admittedly a tough subject. In the 71 years since this almost indescribably important event, D-day has been taken apart in every way imaginable.
Last year, I featured a picture of the landing from the perspective of the troops coming off the landing craft and a clip of what I consider the most accurate media portrayal of the landing on Omaha beach, the opening scene from “Saving Private Ryan” in an article on GruntsandCo.
This year I thought I’d showcase what I think is the most accurate media portrayal of paratroopers jumping on D-day from the series “Band of Brothers”.
For what it’s worth according to the Geneva Convention you can shoot combatants using parachutes if they are coming down to attack you. You can’t shoot them if they are abandoning a stricken aircraft. Without seeing the plane, I’ve never figured out how to make out the difference in the heat of combat. What about if paratroopers are jumping out of a damaged airplane still with the intent of attacking the enemy? Sorry, I digress.
We are all fascinated by the incredible bravery displayed by so many that day and celebrate an infinite number of blessings because of their sacrifice. Had they not done what they did, there is no telling what additional evil would have been visited on this world by a regime that systematically murdered 11 million humans, (six million Jews and five million “others”) and according to new research may have killed up to 20 million.
About 2000 Americans died on Omaha beach alone, over 4500 on that one day, June 6, 1944. Over 400 thousand died in WWII. Bring it forward we have lost about 10,000 Americans to radical Islam (counting those who died on 911), an evil compatible with the hate espoused by Nazism. Radical Islam is as strong if not stronger today.
For me it evokes how John Steele may have felt as he hung by his chute helpless from the church steeple of Saint Mere Eglise . Watching his friends die in the courtyard below and knowing more were about to land.
Food for thought as we read the headlines…
(A clarification reference D-Day casualties was added after this article was published.)