As the World War II veterans and their contemporaries in "The Greatest Generation" continue to pass away, there will be fewer people who remember the significance of June 6. It is the day in 1944 when U.S., British and Canadian troops began landing on the beaches of Normandy, France, in an invasion that turned the corner in the European Theater of World War II.
It was a feat of determination and imagination unlike any before or since.
Gen. Dwight Eisenhower gave the order that launched 7,000 vessels, 13,000 aircraft and 156,000 soldiers, sailors and airmen into certain peril. One in 14 of the 90,000 U.S. troops who landed on the beach did not make it out alive.
Within five days, more than 325,000 troops, 54,000 vehicles and 104,500 tons of supplies had landed. Not many of those who participated are left today. There will be even fewer by next year, the 70th anniversary.
But this day must be remembered as long as valor, courage and determination are considered qualities to which we should all aspire. And it's not enough to pay respects to those who died; we also must recall those who planned and set in motion this monumental endeavor.
Eisenhower, of course, was key, and a quote from his famous speech about D-Day is one under consideration to be included in a memorial in his honor in Washington, D.C. Eisenhower, who served as the supreme Allied commander in Europe, said: "The tide has turned. The free men of the world are marching together to victory!"
Younger generations have a responsibility to learn about and remember D-Day.