Seventy years ago today, approximately 150,000 troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France on D-day in what would become the largest seaborne invasion in history. Approximately 10,000 soldiers lost their lives on those beaches, many of whom forever rest not far from where they fell. The battle was a turning point in World War II as the Allied troops subsequently succeeded in liberating France.
Prior to the invasion, General Eisenhower wrote in his statement to the soldiers, “The eyes of the world are upon you . . . We will accept nothing less than full victory!”
In the funeral industry, we make it our goal to honor our veterans and to provide them with a dignified service that recognizes and honors their sacrifice paid to our country. However, in doing so, we must all personally remember and recount the stories of their experiences, their bravery, their triumphs, and their sacrifices. It is important that while honoring these brave men and women, we never forget the history that lives in their eyes and within their soul. It is a part of them, and it must also be part of all of us. It is because of our veterans that we enjoy the freedoms that we do today.
Acquaint yourselves with the histories of the battles and the wars in which your veterans served, and craft your services accordingly. Most veterans are extremely humble and may not offer outright their stories of their wartime experiences, but these memories and histories must never be forgotten. Their memories are invaluable and should be captured so they can be passed on to their families and future generations. And recording their memories for their families can be a very valuable component of your preneed program, one that is valued and appreciated by the veterans’ families.
And so, today, as we commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-day, take some time to remember what that day stands for.
And let us never forget June 6, 1944.