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Opening of the D-Day Museum

By Remy Benoit

War has been defined as many things; among them a "breakdown in diplomacy" and "hell." It is both of those, but it is so very, very much more.

It is a disruption of all we hold normal and dear.

It is lives interrupted; men and women sent to serve in situations for which life has given them no true preparation.

It is lives interrupted; men and women sent to serve in situations for which life has given them no true preparation.
It is a turning upside-down of many of the ideals with which we were raised.
It is loneliness, terror, and courage.
It is destruction and death.
It is glory, and it is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
It is homecoming and body bags.

It is a protecting of all we hold normal and dear.

We have come to be specific about categorizing what kinds of war we wage: guerilla, brush fire, total.

The pictures accompanying these few words honor those who fought in a total war. They were taken on parade opening the D-Day Museum in New Orleans commemorating Operation Overlord; the invasion, and subsequent liberation, of France from the six beaches at Normandy.

When I was a child I knew a man, a pilot, who had left both his legs there. When I was older, I learned the tides ran red with blood. Think about what that means.

Think about Paris not burning, and the beachhead at Anzio. Think about the fierce, terrible fighting in the South Pacific, and Huertgen Forest, and the burning, people-filled churches in small Italian towns. Think about destroyers and unarmed Merchant Marine.

Look at the pictures. View this small glimpse of honor for those who gave so much; whose sons gave so much, whose grandsons are giving so much today.

And remember our Covenant with them. You were there for us; we should be, will be there for you when you come marching home.

My thanks to Jason Hinz for sharing his photos with us.

View the pictures here


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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