Gunfire filled the air, accompanied by the sounds of men screaming. Marie Scott, a World War II veteran, vividly described her experience of D-Day. As ceremonies commenced on Tuesday, the event aimed to honor the brave individuals who fought for freedom in the biggest naval, air, and land operation ever conducted.
The commemoration of this year serves as a reminder to veterans, officials, and visitors of the current challenges Ukraine confronts. D-Day was one of the most gruesome events of World War II in which many young, promising men lost their lives.
Remembering the War
On Tuesday, reenactors gathered at Omaha Beach at dawn to commemorate the 79th anniversary of the assault that freed France and Western Europe from Nazi control. They brought flowers and waved American flags, accompanied by the whistling sound of the wind. Also, all the eyes in the vicinity were moist.
Scott experienced it all through her ears. At the age of 17, she served as a communication operator in Portsmouth, England. Also, her duty involved relaying messages between soldiers on the ground and General Dwight D. Eisenhower and other senior officers who were overseeing the operation.
A Veteran’s Experiences
“I experienced the war. Also, I could hear gunfire, machine guns, bombing aircraft, and men screaming and shouting. I also heard men giving orders,” she remembered.
“After a short period of fear, I understood the situation … and I realized that there was no time to be afraid. I had a responsibility to fulfill. So I continued with my duties, just as I was supposed to.”
Approaching her 97th birthday, Scott stated that D-Day had a significant impact on her life. “Even though I wasn’t a fighter, I understood the significance of war. People were losing their lives at their very moment.”
Views on Ukraine
Scott expressed her strong disapproval when she learned about the ongoing war in Europe due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
“I find it deeply upsetting that another war is happening. War should only occur when there are no other options left to resolve the issue. It’s a terrible tragedy, and I strongly condemn it,” she shared.
Mervyn Kersh, a British veteran who participated in D-Day on Gold Beach, expressed his belief that Western allies should provide extensive military support to Ukraine. He emphasized the importance of strength in order to maintain freedom.
With a touch of humor, the 98-year-old Kersh added, “I’m still part of the reserve, waiting for my next assignment—to go to Ukraine.”
A Grand Event
On Tuesday, people held a ceremony at the American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer. The cemetery overlooks Omaha Beach and contains the graves of 9,386 U.S. soldiers. These brave soldiers lost their lives during the D-Day landings and subsequent operations. On the Walls of the Missing, there are 1,557 names inscribed. Over time, some of these individuals have been found and identified.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin addressed the gathering. He spoke to more than 40 World War II veterans. Also, he touched on the principles they fought for. Safety and freedom for all is an essential feature of the current century. Moreover, a world safe from the ravages of war is their intention.
Tribute to Ukraine
The war rages on in Ukraine. Many people have lost their lives. Russian aggression seems to know no bounds. Americans help their ally, but at great cost. The D-Day celebrations also addressed it. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, participated in the commemoration at the American Cemetery. During the Normandy celebrations, he spent time with troops who saw him as one of them. It was a special moment for Milley as he nears the end of his 40-year military career.