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D-Day: The Soldiers

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Why “D-Day”?

  • “D-Day” doesn’t refer to “death” or “destruction” despite the many wounded & killed in action.
  • The military uses generic “D-Day” for the day an operation launches.
  • Total # of Allies killed in action in one day remains a mystery: est = 4,400 (est. 2,500 U.S. fatalities).
  • Context: 2,400+ Americans have died serving in America’s nearly 18-year war in Afghanistan.
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“Here in a jumbled row for mile on mile are soldiers’ packs. Here are socks and shoe polish, sewing kits, diaries, Bibles and hand grenades. Here are the latest letters from home… Here are toothbrushes and razors, and snapshots of families back home staring up at you from the sand. Here are pocketbooks, metal mirrors, extra trousers and bloody, abandoned shoes.”

Ernie Pyle, U.S. war correspondent, writing the morning after the invasion.
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With fighting still taking place, war correspondents had to share their work with the military before publishing. For many soldiers, D-Day was just the beginning of a long string of battles that eventually led to the liberation of Europe, forever altering its future.

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