The photo above (credit: Beau Brumfield) is Vincent Speranza (center), who fought in, and survived the D-Day invasion. He is shown here with friends at a 101st Airborne reunion in Tampa in February. Vincent will often gather his WW II buddies, as well as veterans from other wars, together and is known for leading a resounding rendition of “Blood Upon The Risers”.
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of an event synonymous with courage, determination, perseverance, and gallantry. On this day in 1944, over 160,000 Allied troops were involved in a battle that marked the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany. Dubbed Operation Neptune, this battle was fought over 50 miles of French coastline, fortified with Nazi troops. At the end of the day, 9,000 Allied personnel were killed or wounded, allowing more than 100,000 troops to finally gain a foothold in Continental Europe.
Soon this battle will be relegated to the history books along with famous battles of WW I, The American Civil War, and The Revolutionary War. I say this because in a few short years there will be no one alive who fought in the Battle of Normandy As our World War II generation, the Greatest Generation, ages and passes, we will no longer be able to hear first-person accounts of that terrible day. There will be no more “Grandpa, tell me what it was like when you and your friends landed on the beach.” No more “I was there.” Soon, you will not be able to see Vinny Speranza gather a group of men together to sing “Blood Upon The Risers”…
As you continue your day, take a few moments to remember that our Country participated in yet another historic battle to conquer oppression, route out the bad guys, and secure our gift of freedom; if only for a while.
The staff here at Gruntworks honor all the men and women who have fought and sacrificed for our freedom. Our World War II Veterans are disappearing…find one and thank them for serving.