Imagine you have just jumped off this ramp.
You are seasick. Your heart is pounding. Your back strains under a soggy pack that weighs a ton. The water is cold.
And Omaha Beach is very, very hot.
June 6, 1944, was one of those dates we memorized as schoolboys: D-Day, the invasion of Europe.
For my whole life, there have been World War II veterans. In my family, in my friends’ families, in their friends’ families.
But when I tried to find a D-Day veteran from Greater Morristown to interview for this 70th anniversary, the search was fruitless.
Time is doing what the Germans could not.
Sadly, these quiet heroes are becoming the exceptions.
The last veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg died in 1950 at the age of 102.
Before too much longer, we will live in a world without anyone who jumped off the ramp at Omaha Beach.
It’s hard to conceive what that plunge must have felt like. But it’s well worth pondering.