D-Day a gigantic day in history

Published 9:39 pm Friday, June 5, 2009

What a different world this must look like to those veterans who had a hand in winning World War II. What a different country they must see today from the one they returned home to victorious from the shores of Normandy and the beaches of the Pacific.

It was just 65 years ago when a mass of young Americans and Allied troops came ashore at Normandy in the famed D-Day invasion.

While there were turning points at different times in the war’s timeline, this is the battle and operation that truly turned the war into the advantage of the Allies.

It is this battle, this Operation Overload as it was called, that we remember this weekend.

But, it wasn’t just the troops that landed on the beaches who had a hand in victory. It was the entire Allied force, including Clanton residents Preston Little and O.J. McGriff.

Their roles in the battle may never be recounted in the history books or in a Hollywood film, but their hand in ensuring proper maintenance on gliders and setting up communications for advancing troops no less earned an Allied victory than those firing shots downrange.

Retired Marine Major Gene Hitchcock said during a recent Memorial Day ceremony that it took nearly 10 other men and women to support just one infantry soldier.

Both McGriff and Little saw a part of the world in the worst possible scenarios. They saw images they will never forget and lost friends they also will never forget.

For them, their service to country was without question and without limits. It was their job to serve, and they served honorably.

Today, we remember the D-Day invasion, but the D-Day invasion is a memory these proud veterans remember every day.