A day of reflection

“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!

I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!

Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

— Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower http://www.army.mil/d-day/message.html

Now, why would I spend so much time posting basically a link and a whole speech on my page? Why would I watch these documentaries over and over again? Because even though it happened close to 70 years ago, it is something that I will never forget. And why would this matter? Why? WHY-WHY?

Because it does. I was born on this date a few years back. And I found out that if I was of a different gender I would have been named after an individual who had died during the course of the Normandy Landings. Maybe this sense of patriotism is because of how much (12 years) of my life was dedicated to the Air Force as my dad served our country. Maybe it is the fact that my father missed my birth (although he didn’t any of the other 9 of his kids) because of the Air Force, and most birthdays there after. I don’t know. They say that the price of freedom is never free. Well, I paid the price of my dad not being there for me. He is still alive today, and it may have to do with some underlying resentment, but our relationship will never be anything more than passing. It wasn’t that I didn’t want my dad. I would run screaming to him every-time that he return home, and he would be cold and indifferent to me. We later found out that my father suffered PTSD as well as Bi-polar depression as a result of Desert Storm. I don’t know if that was the only reason why he treated me like he did. I wanted to be near him, cherish the moments with him. But he had anywhere between 3-9 kids at any given moment of time, and it was difficult to have his attention, and sometimes when you did it was explosive and upsetting. In many ways I had wished that he would have die in combat, as upsetting as it was, so I wouldn’t have to know this horrid man who claimed to be my parent. It seemed more honorable that way.

So I know my birthday should be a happy time, a day of celebrating my life, but in many ways I hang a flag up, and celebrate my freedom. This day reminds me that I lost my father, although he isn’t dead, but I did. I lost support, family, stability. I lost knowing where I was in life, thrown about on the waves of the world. Yes, I am happy that I am alive. I am happy to have found a spouse, have wonderful children myself, and the freedom others have provided for me. But remember, just because I haven’t served myself doesn’t mean I don’t know what sacrifice means. To have a daddy daughter dance and have to have someone else fill in. To never see him. To have my father one time come in to bathe me when I was younger, and I didn’t know who he was so much that I screamed, and said “Stranger Danger! Danger STRANGER!!! Don’t touch me, go away! HELP HELP!!! MOM!!!”

Maybe one day instead of being a nation upset about our military forces, and cadets, that we will become as those who lost their lives in D day. Proud of our country. Proud of who we are and our nation. To find the honor that is always there, just under the surface if we just embrace it.

Well, at least that’s my opinion~ H. A. Lamb


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