Jun 062014
 

I would love to have been at Omaha Beach today for commemoration of 70 years since D-Day. Instead I will look over old letter and pictures and perhaps watch “Saving Private Ryan” or “Band of Brothers.”

47832-004-557D0F4BMy brother’s landing on Omaha Beach was not in the first wave or on the first day, but on the following day, June 7th, tomorrow. It was far from safe and orderly on the second day. Although the beach had been secured, the enemy was close by and rushing reinforcements to join its defenders. Dead bodies still lay where they had fallen. Roads held undiscovered land mines. The situation was one of great peril.

Younger people today who know of World War II only through studies at school understandably fail to appreciate the peril faced by everyone in those days. Had Hitler and his followers had their way and prevailed, the world would be a much different place today. Had Germany been just a little further along with its development of long range rockets and nuclear weapons, Hitler’s vision of world conquest could have come true.

My brother fought in Normandy for 70 days before he was killed in battle. The devotion and sacrifices of those American and Allied soldiers secured the freedom we take for granted today.

 

A Grave in Normandy

 Posted by at 5:32 am  3 Responses »
Nov 212010
 

My father taught at Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee. David Briggs, Jr. was his oldest son, my brother. My brother was seventeen years old and many of his friends were already eighteen and heading for the army to fight in World War Two. Seventeen-year-olds were not required to join the army, but could do so if they volunteered. My brother volunteered. He finished his training in time to join the massing armies in Ireland and Great Britain, preparing for the Normandy Invasion.

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