“They may be older now, and grayer now, and their ranks are growing thin/ But when these men were young, these men saved the world.”
–President Bill Clinton, addressing veterans at Omaha Beach, on the 50th Anniversary of D-Day, June 6, 1994
Bloody Omaha. My dad was in the third assault wave to hit Omaha Beach, the landing beach where nothing was going according to plan, which meant he faced water red with blood and a beach filled with the bodies and body parts of the dead and the dying. Oh, yes, and constant German machine gun fire and artillery shells, and nowhere to find cover. My dad was just a farm kid from Minnesota who had never heard a shot fired in anger. But from someplace deep inside he found the courage to move forward onto that bloody beach, and that day he, and thousands of boys like him, made history.
On Facebook today, I’ve seen a number of posts celebrating Independence Day with the quote “the Home of the Free because of the Brave…”
So I thought I’d take this opportunity to honor my Grandpa Baach, a Doughboy in WWI; my Father-in-Law George M. Marincel, a bombardier and navigator in a B-17 Flying Fortress, who flew 36 missions over Occupied Europe in WWII; and, of course, my dad, Leonard H. Resch, who fought at Omaha Beach, The Battle of Normandy, Northern France, Huertgen Forest, Battle of the Bulge, and Central Europe, and liberated the concentration camp Nordhausen.
May you all rest in God’s peace after the horrors of war.
When the magnificent and dedicated WWII vets of The Fort Snelling Honor Guard presented my mother with my dad’s casket flag at his burial, their commander read these words:
“On behalf of the President, the Armed Forces of the United States and a Grateful Nation, I present you this flag, a symbol of our Great Republic, for which our Departed Comrade has Honorably Served.”