Our opinion: D-Day anniversary reminds us to continue honoring veterans

Published 5:23 pm Friday, June 7, 2024

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Thursday was the anniversary of D-Day, a pivotal moment in World War II that turned the tide of the European conflict toward the allies favor.

All through the day Thursday we saw, or maybe even took part in, ceremonies marking the occasion while also honoring the soldiers who hit the beaches that day along the Normandy coast and those that gave their lives.

They were touching and emotional tributes, but it also serves as a reminder of the duty we all have to honor those who served in horrific moments in history like what happened on June 6, 1944.

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The reality is that for many soldiers still alive who served during World War II this may well be the last D-Day they see. The world is losing our World War II veterans, an inevitability for us all in the march of time.

While it’s important that we honor all of those — men and women — who served, fought and died in defense of our nation while they live with us today, it will remain on us to continue to remember these people after their time on this planet has come to an end.

They have done what many of us would not or could not do. They’ve marched into the worst conditions and came out the other side, while still others never saw past that day. This is a sacrifice of life and the least we can do is remember that sacrifice going forward.

We owe it to these brave souls to remember not just their deeds, but their names. We are able to enjoy freedom in France, England, here at home and around the globe because men of valor stood up and said “I’ll go.”

When the soldiers of World War II — as in any conflict — are all gone, we will look back and know with pride that we are who we are because of them. People in other countries don’t know that, and can’t appreciate that today.

That’s why, as time moves on, days like the D-Day anniversary become increasingly important  because these men and women need to know our gratitude while they are still here with us.

And if they are not, then those days stand as stark reminders that the freedom and rights we enjoy today are based on the soldiers who stood up to evil.