Editorial: Honoring those who battled during D-Day

Let’s take one minute away from the traffic, sun block and sand to recognize the efforts of some real-life, honest-to-goodness heroes, if you’ll indulge us.

Wednesday, June 6, marked the 74th anniversary of D-Day, the landing operations of the Allied invasion of Normandy. The battles have been played out in books, magazines, the small screen and the big screen, and it easily falls into any top-10 list of most important moments in the history of modern war.

Speaking strictly on its impact, “Operation Neptune” really began the liberation of northwestern Europe from the control of the Nazis, according to numerous military scholars. Many historians believe this was the turning point of the war on the western front, and it is widely considdered the largest seaborne invasion in history.

Imagine yourself stepping off an amphibious vehicle and onto a shoreline that was defended by highly-fortified encampments of Germans who were anticipating an Allied invasion. Imagine stepping off into an onslaught of bullets, mortars and grenades — charging forward into the great unknown of a foreign land, knowing full well the odds that are stacked against you.

It is the stuff of legends, and the sacrifices made by so many altered the dynamic of the planet. It is heroic.