"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

By this time--five months and a day old---75 years ago

"For Them," 5 x 7 watercolor, 
By this time 75 years ago, I was snug in my baby bed, probably taking a nap in Dallas, Texas. Yesterday was my fifth month birthday.
Americans attacking at  Omaha Beach, D-Day
By this time, 75 years ago, about 3,500 young American men had been killed or were missing on Omaha Beach at Normandy. More than 6,000 had been wounded.  Bloodiest day for Americans since Antietam, in 1863.
By this time, 75 years ago,  almost 1,000 Canadian soldiers had been killed and wounded.
By this time, 75 years ago, about 2,500 to 3,000 British soldiers had been killed, wounded or missing.
By this time, 75 years ago, from 4,000 to 9,000 German soldiers had been killed or wounded.
The killing wasn't over, not for another year.
I've written many times on this blog about D-Day. It's personal. My oldest Son, Vance, an Air Force veteran, has visited Normandy and the American cemetery.
My Dad's brothers, my uncle Mike, signalman in the U.S. Navy, was on a ship hunting U-boats in the Caribbean. The reason his ship hadn't been sent for the invasion was that it was outmoded and spare parts weren't available.
My uncle Rex was in the Army in England, and probably dealt with the wounded. My uncle Champ was stationed with the Army in the Aleutians facing Japanese invasion. Today, his son, my cousin, Dan is in Normandy, where his choir took part in the 75th anniversary.  My Mom's brother, E.T. Culp was in the U.S. Navy, as was his son, my cousin, during Vietnam.
My Dad was working for Consolidated Aircraft in the Dallas area. He had lost his right leg jumping a freight train at Tucumcari, 12 years before--something I've written about before. If that hadn't happened, I wouldn't be here, nor my children and grandchildren.
If all those men hadn't died 75 years ago, and D-Day hadn't turned out the way it did, I would probably be writing this in German. Or not allowed to write it at all.
Think on these things. Be grateful.

Related photos, articles on this blog:
D-Day five years ago
D-Day written in blood
D-Day--Snug in my crib
10 years ago--Flying high on D-Day
Happy Birthday, Sailor
My Dad had a wooden leg

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