D-Day Anniversary 2017

Today marks 73 years since D-Day, the pivotal World War II operation in which Allied troops invaded Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944. It is known to be the largest seaborne invasion in history, with more than 160,000 soldiers landing on the beach in Normandy to take on the Nazi German fighters.

Up to 12,000 Allies and 9,000 Germans were killed, according to the National World War II Museum. The day is billed as “the beginning of the end of war in Europe.”

Here are a few of their quotes, from GoodReads, about the invasion:

1. “Sixty-five years ago in the thin light of gray dawn, more than 1,000 small craft took to a rough sea on a day that will be forever a day of bravery. On that June morning the young of our nations stepped out on those beaches below and into history. As long as freedom lives their deeds will never die.” — Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown

2. “This vast operation is undoubtedly the most complicated and difficult that has ever occurred.” — Winston Churchill

3. “This operation is not being planned with any alternatives. This operation is planned as a victory, and that’s the way it’s going to be. We’re going down there, and we’re throwing everything we have into it, and we’re going to make it a success.” — Eisenhower

4. “They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” — Former U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt

5. “The 6th June is not a day like others: it is not just the longest day or a day to remember the dead, but a day for the living to keep the promise written with the blood of the fighters, to be loyal to their sacrifice by building a world that is fairer and more human.” — French President Francois Hollande
6. “It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only 6 miles long and 2 miles wide.” — Former U.S. President Barack Obama

7. “It is difficult to understand the courage it took to advance through minefields and barbed wire under fire from mortars and machine-guns in order to punch through Hitler’s Atlantic Wall, and yet that is exactly what many Canadians did.” — Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper

8. “We know that progress is not inevitable. But neither was victory upon these beaches. Now, as then, the inner voice tells us to stand up and move forward. Now, as then, free people must choose.” — Former U.S. President Bill Clinton

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