The International Writers Magazine:
- 60 YEARS HENCE
"These are the times that try mens souls. The summer
soldier and the
sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of
but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and
Sixty years ago
this week the future of Europe and the map of the entire globe was up
for grabs. The once unstoppable German Blitzkrieg, which had ripped
through Europe like a hacksaw of death and destruction for close to
a decade, was finally backtracking against heavy advances from rabid
Soviet troops and desert and airborne skirmishes with Britain. The United
States contributions to the Allied effort were considerable, (the invasion
of Italy and the swift rash of victories thereafter) but not wholly
definitive. The word had cut through the US military intelligence that
a bold maneuver was needed for American troops to continue to split
its attention on a two-front war with Germany in Europe and the Asian
theater against the Empire of Japan.
Then came June 6, 1944, forever known as D-Day, when the most ambitious
amphibious battle operation in human history turned the World War II
effort on its head. Within hours of Operation Overlords incredible
commencement, the most significant historical day of the 20th century
would turn its second half into the American Century. The American soldier,
made up of its poor, huddled masses gained a foothold on Nazi occupied
territory and within three months Paris was secure and Berlin was all
In the annals of this war-torn mess we call civilization, there has
never been a more signature few hours than these.
Volumes of books and historical documents cover the details. No point
here, only to recall the incredible cunning and immeasurable bravery
of the men and women who carried this ridiculously ballsy move out.
Now, 60 years later, it is easy to view it as merely heroic, or even
strategic as if it makes sense on a map with blue and red lines and
tiny figures moving across the terrain of Europe.
But what we discuss here is the almost otherworldly triumph, an angelic
form of man against man, the painful realities of Cain and Abel and
a mutant fury burning in the hearts of humanity set forth to settle
the billion dollar industry of nations. The extraordinary sacrifice
of youth laid out by many of the combatants who were scarcely of the
age to vote or drink or settle a score in the court of law. Many were
barely literate and knew little about the political machinations of
hoary leaders or lunatic con men swept up by genocidal madness.
The history of the civilized world shoved into order in one bold stroke.
Carried out by less than ordinary people cracking the foundation of
infinity. Citizens of these United States who were unable to sit in
a café or ride in the front of a bus or enter the confines of
a country club or stand at a water fountain or use a public restroom
or live in 80% of the neighborhoods that made up the land they represented,
pushing up a beachhead of hellish firepower 3,500 miles away.
This is D-Day.
The numbers, when digested through the veil of time are staggering.
The largest armada ever assembled, including 5,000 ships, 11,000 aircraft,
carrying approximately 154,000 British, Canadian and American soldiers,
including 23,000 arriving by parachute and glider. Three thousand of
them would not see a June 7.
The Longest Day.
Supreme Commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower became a legend in those
few excruciating hours. His cause was great, his guts unquestioned,
and his scheme, masterminded over two years with Britains finest,
a bold and tactical masterpiece. He was its architect. D-Day earned
him many citations and statues, and soon after, the presidency. Eisenhower
would later tell many of his biographers that even he was nothing more
than a soldier among many that day, in fact, hardly a participant of
That kind of description would be saved for G.I. Joe; grocers and ditch
diggers, mechanics and salesman, bus boys and couriers, drifters and
union men by the score; the common man making an uncommon contribution
to the future of the planet. Fathers and brothers and husbands and sons,
daughters and mothers, thousands of them, boarding destiny, handing
over their sunsets and ballgames and the sweet affection of their lovers
for the infinite void of death. Handing over a life unspent for the
restructuring of a map, for the survival of an ideology, a union, a
race, and for the booming economy of countless generations.
The people who defeated the Master Race were its greatest ideological
enemy; the Kikes, Hebes, Niggers, Wops, Mics, Gooks, the proposed drek
of the American underbelly saving the free world for the privileged
once more. Hitlers Mud People ending the Thousand Year Reich in
a few weeks.
All this talk of war lately has garnered the well-worn notion that World
War II was the last "just" war or that its generation of soldier
was "the greatest", that somehow what is happening abroad
right now or what transpired in Korea or Viet Nam or Grenada or Bosnia
fall under the neat category of military police actions. Not so for
the common man, or woman.
They have to fend for the plight of the world politic. Right or wrong.
Again and again.
For 60 years you have known someone who knows someone who was a part
of it. Everything before it and after it meant something different because
The souls torment marches on.
© James Campion June 6th 2004
all rights reserved