Their average age was 22, and most had never seen combat. But seventy years ago today tens of thousands of them stormed the beaches of Normandy directly into the teeth of a fortified enemy coastline. Those who survived rarely talked about their ordeals that day, if they talked about them at all. Most of them described their experiences by offering throw away deflections like, “I was just doing my job,” or, “I’m not a hero. Those that didn’t come home…they were the heroes.” But they were heroes too. They all were.
The youngest of the D-Day veterans are in their late eighties today. What they did and what they went through that day is as unimaginable as it is inspirational. They earned the right to be called the Greatest Generation.