75th Anniversary of D-Day

Code of Support Chairman and co-founder, MG Alan Salisbury spent the beginning of June in Northern France to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-day.

D-day, which is officially named “Operation Overlord”, took place on June 6th, 1944 in Normandy, France and was the largest amphibious invasion in military history.

Below are some of his thoughts and reflections of the trip.

June 6th,2019: Omaha Beach Cemetery

This was the scene today at the Omaha Beach Cemetery as a crowd of 15,000 attended formal ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings. Both France’s president Macron and American president Donald Trump gave moving speeches. More than  100 WWII veterans attended including about 35 who were part of the invasion force.

June 4th, 2019: Dunkirk

The “miracle at Dunkirk” was that more than 300 thousand British soldiers and 100 thousand French military were successfully evacuated across this beach to the UK in 1940. It was Churchill who chose to emphasize the positive side of what as been a spectacular military defeat. Without the evacuation, Britain would most likely have had to sue for peace and the world would look very different today.  As it was, the evacuation allowed the rebuilding of their armed forces and , following the U. S. entry into the war in 1941, the long buildup that preceded the D-Day invasion. 

The picture shows the long pier at Dunkirk from which hundreds of ships were loaded as part of the massive evacuation involving thousands of ships and boats, big and small.

June 3rd, 2019: Flanders Field

Today I visited the Flanders American Cemetery as part of my trip to commemorate the 75th anniversary of D-Day this Thursday. Of course, Flanders is the eternal home of our WWI fallen. The “war to end all wars” set in motion events that in 1939 would launch an even greater war. These crosses are a stark reminder that freedom isn’t free.