When armies plan wars, they use code words to keep their operations a secret. D-Day and H-Hour are such codes and the U.S. Army used them during WW I. They were also used in WW II and since then have come to signify the day (D) and hour (H) of the Normandy invasion.
Sunday, June 6, 2004 will mark the 60th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy. The Allied landing of troops on the beaches of France on that long ago day, and in the subsequent days of fighting, claimed an estimated 425,000 casualties–before counting fatalities among French civilians and prisoners of war.
Here in Carpenter Country, some of us were just kids on the historic day. Others were not yet born. But we all know we owe a great debt to the armed forces that fought on foreign soil. They waged a fierce battle, suppressed on oppressor and kept our country and the world free. When they came home to tickertape parades, H-Hour could have been renamed Hero Hour.
Today our troops are fighting another conflict against a different enemy in Iraq and Afghanistan. When these battles end and America’s men and women return home, let’s hope D-Day comes to mean Democracy Day.