National D-Day Memorial -- A National Treasure!
The National D-Day Memorial is set on 20 magnificent acres that contain a huge amphitheater with a mock of the Omaha landing with brass bodies strewn in water while air jets loudly spray the staccato sounds and effects of machine gun fire through the water... as a soldier pulls a buddy through the surf, one lies dead nearby and a trio of Marines struggle up the side of a netted hillside. All immortalized and honored in this Memorial. It is spectacularly landscaped with lush lawns and abundant trees and flowers... and benches and other places to sit and reflect... and perhaps remember those that were lost. When we were there, we saw a number of people shedding tears while running their hand over the name of a loved one on a plaque... and a message left in the guest book, "I miss you, Dad."
This privately founded and funded memorial is on the verge of bankruptcy -- many reasons -- cost, early mismanagement, maintenance... and Virginia legislators are planning to introduce legislation in the US Congress to turn this Memorial over to the US Parks Dept. I urge each of you to drop a quick note to your Congressperson and/or Senator drawing their attention to preserving and protecting this VERY deserving memorial. Or you may give a donation to save this Memorial at the National D-Day Memorial Foundation's site. Having been to the WWII Memorial and The Vietnam War Memorial, I assure you that the National D-Day Memorial is on par with those in its scope, its beauty and its message. We are a Nation of Memorials and Museums and this is a most important reminder of a Momentous day in our and the world's history.
On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied soldiers clambered aboard heaving landing craft and braved six-foot swells, waves of machine gun fire, and more than 6 million mines to claim a stretch of sand at a place called Normandy. Their mission was to carve out an Allied foothold on the edge of Nazi-occupied Europe for the army of more than one million that would follow them in the summer of 1944. This army would burst forth from the beachhead, rolling across Europe into the heart of Germany, liberating millions, toppling a genocidal regime, and ending a nightmare along the way. But it all began on this beach in France, with an army of teenagers on a day called D-Day.