Yesterday I came home pissed. For what has been seemingly the umpteenth time in the last several months at work the stuff I left in the fridge or freezer had been raided. As the only white non-Spanish or Portuguese speaking American man in building not in management and seemingly the only person this has been happening to found it even more egregious. I left angry, came home angry, went to bed angry.
Then this morning I read from reprint form a 1960 Atlantic article written in the days before college students were taught to be triggered by other people opinions concerning the fate of the twenty somethings of Able and Baker companies hitting Omaha beach at D-Day:
Able Company riding the tide in seven Higgins boats is still five thousand yards from the beach when first taken under artillery fire. The shells fall short. At one thousand yards, Boat No. 5 is hit dead on and foundered. Six men drown before help arrives. Second Lieutenant Edward Gearing and twenty others paddle around until picked up by naval craft, thereby missing the fight at the shore line. It’s their lucky day.
Why it was their lucky day became apparent pretty quick
Able Company has planned to wade ashore in three files from each boat, center file going first, then flank files peeling off to right and left. The first men out try to do it but are ripped apart before they can make five yards. Even the lightly wounded die by drowning, doomed by the waterlogging of their overloaded packs. From Boat No. 1, all hands jump off in water over their heads. Most of them are carried down. Ten or so survivors get around the boat and clutch at its sides in an attempt to stay afloat. The same thing happens to the section in Boat No. 4. Half of its people are lost to the fire or tide before anyone gets ashore. All order has vanished from Able Company before it has fired a shot.
Already the sea runs red. Even among some of the lightly wounded who jumped into shallow water the hits prove fatal. Knocked down by a bullet in the arm or weakened by fear and shock, they are unable to rise again and are drowned by the onrushing tide.
As I was reading this I was thinking that just about every man in these boats were younger than my sons today who have not yet reached 30.
By the end of one hour and forty-five minutes, six survivors from the boat section on the extreme right shake loose and work their way to a shelf a few rods up the cliff. Four fall exhausted from the short climb and advance no farther. They stay there through the day, seeing no one else from the company. The other two, Privates Jake Shefer and Thomas Lovejoy, join a group from the Second Ranger Battalion, which is assaulting Pointe du Hoc to the right of the company sector, and fight on with the Rangers through the day. Two men. Two rifles. Except for these, Able Company’s contribution to the D Day fire fight is a cipher.
The Baker company story is a bit better but not much however there is one group who manages to make it to the beach and beyond
Taylor’s coxswain swings his boat sharp left, then heads toward the shore about halfway between Zappacosta’s boat and Williams’. Until a few seconds after the ramp drops, this bit of beach next to the village called Hamel-au-Prêtre is blessedly clear of fire. No mortar shells crown the start. Taylor leads his section crawling across the beach and over the sea wall, losing four men killed and two wounded (machine-gun fire) in this brief movement. Some yards off to his right, Taylor has seen Lieutenants Harold Donaldson and Emil Winkler shot dead. But there is no halt for reflection; Taylor leads the section by trail straight up the bluff and into Vierville, where his luck continues. In a two-hour fight he whips a German platoon without losing a man.
The village is quiet when Pearce joins him. Pearce says: “Williams is shot up back there and can’t move.”
Says Taylor: “I guess that makes me company commander.”
Answers Pearce: “This is probably all of Baker Company.” Pearce takes a head count; they number twenty-eight, including Taylor.
Says Taylor: “That ought to be enough. Follow me!”
It is impossible to read these stories of men who had to endure more in an hour than I’ve had to endure my entire life and not feel ashamed for being so angry about someone taking one’s Gatorade without asking. Moreover unlike many people today my age my father, uncles and cousins served overseas in World War 2 and I got to meet and know many such men in my youth at VAW events. I knew the difference between my comparatively easy life and what they did and still spent half a day angry about something small.
And that in a nutshell is why the left needs D-Day and the young men who fought it forgotten.
If a high school or college student is made to understand what these teenage and twenty somethings did on a day like this, you can’t convince such a person that those boys were examples of “toxic masculinity” or “white privilege” nor can you convince said student at a college whose four year cost, with room and board might be covered by the GI life insurance policy on these dead kids that they are “oppressed” living a life of comfort that these boys who not live to see. For the sake of their cause, the history of these boys needs to be re-written or forgotten.
Luckily for most University professors around the nation seeking to induce a sense of victim-hood rather than provide an education D-Day falls on June 6th after the school year has ended and even luckier for the activists this is likely the last great anniversary of D-Day they will have to endure. For nothing “triggers” a social justice warrior more than being presented with the evidence that being “triggered” by the words of a speaker or comic, is insignificant to the triggering that these overwhelmingly white male kids endured on the morning of June 6th 1944 on a beach in France.