Last week, I was honored to attend a ceremony at the American Cemetery and Memorial in Normandy, France, to mark the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings alongside veterans and their families, active duty service members and military officials.
On June 6, 1944, tens of thousands of American, British, Canadian, and Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy from the sea and air in order to liberate Europe from Nazi control. In one of the largest amphibious assaults in history, Allied forces battled through rough water and German gunfire to capture beaches code named Gold, Juno, Sword, Utah, and Omaha. These heroic service members charged forward, knowing they would face enemy fire and devastating losses in order to free millions of people from oppression and tyranny. One thousand four hundred sixty-five Americans lost their lives that day.
Their sacrifice will forever be a reminder to all Americans of the cost of freedom and liberty, and we will never forget the greatest heroes our nation has ever known. We must recognize the courage and spirit these soldiers displayed and continue to advance the promise of democracy both at home and around the world in their honor.
Although we can never repay the debt we owe our service members, we can ensure that their stories and sacrifices are remembered for generations to come. To that end, I was proud to author legislation creating the Veterans History Project, which has allowed veterans to record more than 100,000 stories and preserve them in the Library of Congress. The personal stories of America’s veterans are the most powerful record that we have to document the sacrifice and hardships of our nation at war. I encourage everyone to take the time to interview a friend or loved one about their service and record their stories for the VHP, an extraordinary archive and memorial to our nation’s veterans.
For more information on soldiers who served during World War II from Wisconsin’s Third Congressional District, you can go to my Facebook and Instagram pages, where I have highlighted a different veteran each day of June leading up the anniversary of D-Day. Additionally, for information on how to submit a story to the Veteran’s History Project, go to www.loc.gov/vets or call the toll-free message line at 888-371-5848 to request a project kit.
Please take time to thank all of our veterans and remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice. May God bless our men and women in uniform.
Democrat Ron Kind, La Crosse, represents Wisconsin’s 3rd Congressional District.