A picture of an unknown soldier can be seen on the shores of Omaha Beach in Saint Laurent-sur-Mer. … [+]
The country remains largely politically divided, which can be clearly seen on social media. However, Sunday took some time so as not to degrade the people on the other side, instead honoring the sacrifices made 77 years ago when about 156,000 American, British and Canadian troops on five beaches along an 80-mile stretch Section of the heavily fortified coast of France, Normandy landed on “D-Day”.
It was the largest amphibious military attack in history and opened a second front that eventually led to the defeat and fall of Nazi Germany. More than 5,000 ships and landing craft were used to transport troops and supplies, while around 11,000 aircraft were mobilized to secure and support the airborne invasion.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower, Supreme Allied Commander in Chief, famously said to the troops: “You are about to begin the Great Crusade we have been working towards for many months. The eyes of the world are on you. “
This weekend, the heroic deeds of the “Greatest Generation” for their role in Operation Overlord were praised and honored on social media platforms.
The posts actually began on Saturday night, with some highlighting the Allied air landings in the late hours of June 5, 1944.
Throughout Saturday evening and into Sunday morning, Military History Now (@MilHistNow) posted live #Day tweets on the anniversary of the landing, including a quote from German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel: “It will be the longest for the Allies as well as for Germany Day.”
The world remembers
Even at a time when history is sometimes viewed with contempt, the hashtags #DDay, #Normandy, #HistoryMatters, #LongestDay and #GreatestGeneration Trend began on Sunday.
Author Michael Beschloss (@BeschlossDC) shared a photo of Eisenhower chatting with members of the 101st Airborne Division, voicing the somber thoughts: “Knowing how many of them were likely to be in the D-Day invasion of tomorrow, 1944 General Eisenhower says goodbye to American paratroopers. “
Posted @URDailyHistory, “Jun 6, 1944: At 6:30 am, U.S. forces land on #Omaha Beach in #Normandy, France during the Allied D-Day invasion of Western Europe. #WWII # WW2 #history #HistoryMatters #DDay # Advertisement https://amzn.to/2XzeoUY “
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) (@RepLizCheney) was among a few US politicians celebrating the day, writing, “77 years later we are honoring the heroes of D-Day who landed on the beaches of Normandy to fight for freedom. May we never forget their courage and valor in the face of evil. “
Senator John Kennedy (R-Louisana) shared a similar sentiment on Facebook: “77 years later, we remember the Allied landings on D-Day and the brave souls who stormed the beaches of Normandy in the name of freedom. We honor sacrifice and cherish our freedom. “
Several news outlets and users shared photos and video clips to celebrate the anniversary.
Across the world, many social media users also took the time to remind themselves why the landings are to be remembered. The UK Defense Journal (@UKDefJournal) was among those who found it wasn’t just another day at the beach for the thousands of men who landed in Normandy on June 6, 1944:
“77 years ago today, over 156,000 Allied soldiers undertook the largest sea invasion in history to begin the liberation of continental Europe, known as D-Day.”
The royal family’s official account (@RoyalFamily) also marked the occasion on Sunday: “AnThisDay in 1944 saw the Allied invasion of Normandy known as D-Day. 75 years later, in 2019, took place Her Majesty The Queen spoke of “the heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who have lost their lives” during the campaign that led to the Allied victory.
Author Matthew Dowd (@Mattewjdowd) succinctly explained the importance of the day, writing, “Today is the 77th anniversary of D-Day. As protectors of democracy pushed back against autocracy, even though the risk was great and terrible losses would be suffered, we honor the legacy of our predecessors and protect democracy today and do what we can to help. “