This week is sacred to me. Two of the most important battles in World War II were fought in early June.
The Battle of Midway was fought 4-7 June, 1942
D-Day began on June 6, 1944
And to me and my family, the week has a more personal and special significance.
My father was born on June 8, 1926, eighty-six years ago today.
He joined the Navy on June 6, 1944 – two days before his eighteenth birthday – as allied forces invaded the Normandy coast.
He only served two years, being trained as a coxswain for landing craft, serving as a deck hand on board a ship in the Pacific, and finally serving out the rest of his time in the Navy running a fuel barge at Eniwetok.
The Navy and the war changed him. A high school dropout with a shady past, he returned to Kansas with a sense of purpose. He got his GED and went to college on the GI Bill, earning a Business Degree. And he never looked back.
He loved the Navy until the day he died, and credited his military experience for many of his accomplishments in life.
In 1954 he married a beautiful girl with whom he would have recently celebrated their 58th anniversary, if he were still with us.
Of all the days of the year he could have chosen to get married, he decided on the one that meant the most to him.
He chose June 6.