I know this topic is not baseball-related in any fashion, but on this day (June 6, 2009), I would like to take a moment to pause and reflect on D-Day, the date during World War II when U.S. and British Forces attacked Normandy, France to truly enter the European Theater of the War. I believe that the attack, to this day, remains the largest amphibious assault in the history of the U.S. Armed Forces. It was a remarkable physical and technical achievement, and could could have been accomplished without the sacrifice of many great soldiers.
My Grandpa, Ray Koenig (still alive and kickin’ at nearly 87 years of age) was a Pathfinder during the D-Day invasion, meaning he dropped behind enemy lines (approximately near the town of St. Mere-Eglise) the night before the beach assault with the objective of taking key bridges and holding them. The mission was dealt a huge setback right from the very beginning, as thick cloud cover forced the planes to miss their drop zones…scattering the Pathfinders all over the countryside. Once they regrouped, however, they were able to successfully complete most of their objectives and provide invaluable support once the beach assault was completed.
On days like these, I am reminded of the great sacrifice that my Grandpa and countless others made for this country. We truly do owe them a debt of gratitude (as we do to ALL veterans of any Armed Forces) that can really never be repayed.
A video tribute as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bcGIK6ktgwA