rap # 84 06/06/12
FREEHOLDERS MARK BOTH THE ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY AND THE AMERICAN VICTORY AT MIDWAY
HISTORY REMEMBERS it as the "Longest Day," the allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944.
Today, on the 68th anniversary of the landings in Normandy, the Ocean County Board of Chosen Freeholders asked all
residents to remember the brave American soldiers who stormed ashore on that fateful morning to begin the liberation of
This week also marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Midway, the decisive naval clash that turned the tide in
the war against Japan.
D-Day was the largest and most ambitious amphibious invasion in history. More than 150,000 American, British and Canadian
soldiers broke through Hitlerís "Atlantic War" in the first step of a campaign that would end 11 months later with the
total defeat of Nazi Germany.
"We can only imagine what it must have been like for those men to leap from their landing craft into the hailstorm of
battle," Freeholder Director Gerry P. Little said. "Our nation, and indeed all of the free nations of earth, owes these
heroes a debt of gratitude that we can never repay."
Little said that even now, nearly seven decades since the landings, new facts are coming to light about the
"It has long been accepted that more than 2,500 allied troops never made it off the beaches at Normandy, but new
research by the National D-Day Memorial Foundation in Virginia has placed that casualty figure at nearly 4,500," Little
said. "Today we remember these fallen warriors and thank them for their relentless battle against tyranny."
Freeholder Deputy Director John C. Bartlett Jr. said it is doubtful the world will ever see a military operation
like D-Day again.
"For nearly 2 Ĺ years the allied armies built up and trained for this single day," he said. "An invasion of this
size and complexity, along with the airborne assault that preceded it, had never been attempted before," he said. "If D-Day
had failed, itís likely the world we know today would be a very different place."
Two years before D-Day in the waters surrounding the small atoll named Midway Island in the Central Pacific Ocean,
the United States Navy struck a decisive blow against the Empire of Japan.
United States forces suffered 307 causalities compared to more than 3,050 Japanese killed in the June 4th through
7th 1942 battle that sent four Imperial Japanese aircraft carriers to the bottom and severely hamstringed Axis operations
in the Pacific for the rest of the war.
"We must never forget the courage and sacrifice that are the hallmarks of the Greatest Generation," Little said.
"Our brave men and women fought around the globe to liberate millions of people from the tyranny of power-hungry