Operation Overlord

American Cemetery at Normandy

This coming Saturday, June 6th, Many will pause to remember the greatest invasion in the history of man, Operation Overlord. More than 160,000 young men, supported by 13,000 planes, more than 5,000 ships and leaving behind at the Cemetery at Normandy, 9,387 graves and an addition list of 1,557 names of those forever missing in action. I stood there one day and placed my tears on that beautiful green grass as I prayed and thanked our Lord for those who gave so very much.

There are moments that hang like great drops of time in our memory. Such a moment was on a Thursday when I stood and looked across the American Cemetery and the beach of Normandy. .

There was Lt. Murray Evans a young man from Lindsey Street who lived across the street from my family, charging up the beach in that first wave on June 6, 1944, leading a group of young American teens into the land of France and for most of them the Land of Eternity. His parents were wonderful friends of my family and I spent many hours on their front porch listing to Mr. Evans tell about his ‘boy’ Murray who is still on that beach in Normandy along with more than 10,000 other young Americans. Lt. Murray Evans was killed on the third day of that great battle and his family chooses to allow his body to rest on that green grass of American soil. I stood before eight graves each marked with the name unknown, I wept at those graves, saluted as an old man does and then knelt in the dew covered grass and thanked God for this ‘unknown’ who paid with all he had that some 68 years later I could stand before his marker and thank him for those moments of charging that beach and winning for the world another moment of freedom

Murray’s parents were good, honest people, who deserved to have their son watch them grow old but as the parents of more than four hundred thousand other young men were charged for our freedom the price of their son’s life.

As I looked across that beach I could see Mary Lou Graft wading ashore on the third day as a nurse with the first hospital division to establish a hope for those who would be wounded. Mary Lou walked from the beach of Normandy to the capitol of the Nazi Empire in Berlin providing care for our American troops. She often spoke to me of those days and those memories as she saw an enslaved world become free because so many were willing to give their all.

That bubble of time held me captured as I shed my tears for all the fallen, broken, and hopeful of those days. Thank you to all who crawled up that sandy rock covered beach to unlock for me and others the door of liberty.

Published in: on May 31, 2015 at 11:05 pm  Leave a Comment  

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