“Children, I said to her. For the first little while, they not exactly human, you don't find?”
Nalo Hopkinson

Sunday, May 27, 2012

It's Memorial Day.

Until recently I knew very little about soldiers who died in wars.  I had a vague, superficial feeling of sadness for the dead and their families, but mostly didn't think about it.  Since I've been studying the Civil War, I have less cloudy mental vision of the dead and wounded.  I've learned they were average people, like me, you, your son, husband, father, and friend.

D-Day is also known as The Invasion of Normandy, or June 6, 1944,  or five or six decoy and real operational names.  France was invaded by Germany in 1940 and 1942. Allied troops sought to push Axis Germany out of France.  The Allied troops consisted of  infantry, armory, airborne, and amphibious fighting forces.  Participating countries included Britain, Canada, Poland, Australia, Norway, New Zealand, United States, and France.

Some of the estimated casualties for the Allied: 
U.S. 29,000 killed and 106,000 wounded or missing.
Britain 11,000 killed, 54,000 wounded or missing.
Canada 5,000 killed, 13,000 wounded or missing.
France 12,200 civilians dead and missing.

A few years ago I listened to a former medic on the radio who served on D-Day.  The medic said he only had time to tend soldiers with a chance of surviving. He quickly examined a young man and determined he could not be saved.  Before the medic could leave the young man grabbed his hand and said, "Please remember me."  I cannot forget those last words.

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