A child born on D-Day would turn 72 years old today. He or she would have reached their full Social Security retirement age six years ago.
If it was a boy, he would have missed the Korean War and the Vietnam War hadn’t begun in earnest when he turned 18. If he did serve in Vietnam, he would have either been the young lieutenant or the “old man” in his early 20s serving as the squad leader or platoon sergeant.
If it was a girl, she would have been in college learning how to be a nurse or teacher when the Beatles invaded the US in 1964. Alternatively, she was a young mother with one or two children as she got married out of high school. She could have been Miss Shaw who was my third grade teacher at Park Street School and who was the first teacher I had under the age of 50.
As I noted last year, my father and many of my classmates fathers had served in WWII. The war wasn’t a so distant memory. TV shows like Combat, 12 O’Clock High, and McHale’s Navy were in their heyday. There wasn’t a National WWII Memorial and there weren’t Honor Flights taking the veterans of D-Day to see the Memorial before they passed away.
So on this day, let us remember the young men from the US, Canada, and the UK who landed on a 60 mile swath of Normandy beaches. They went into the great unknown to save the world from Hitler and the Nazis. If you know of someone who landed on D-Day, sit down and talk with them as they won’t be around much longer to tell first-hand what they went through. And, it should go without saying, thank them for the sacrifices they and their comrades made.