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Remembering D-Day: Seventy-Nine Years Later

Jun 06, 2023
Super Sixth Armored Division US Army

June 6th marks an important date in history – the anniversary of D-Day. On this day in 1944, the Allied forces launched a massive invasion on the beaches of Normandy, France, during World War II. The operation, codenamed "Operation Overlord," was a pivotal moment that would ultimately lead to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi occupation.

D-Day involved an immense and coordinated effort by the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and other Allied nations. The operation aimed to establish a foothold in France and create a Western front against the Axis powers.

Storming the Beaches of Normady, France

The invasion was led by General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who later became the 34th President of the United States. Over 156,000 troops from various nations stormed the beaches of Normandy, facing fierce resistance from the well-fortified German forces. The assault was supported by an extensive naval and airborne operation, with thousands of ships and aircraft involved.

The beaches where the landings took place were given code names: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. Each beach had its own set of challenges and objectives. Omaha Beach, in particular, proved to be the most difficult due to its strong defenses and rough terrain. Despite facing heavy casualties, the Allied forces persevered, fighting valiantly to secure their objectives.

The success of D-Day hinged on the element of surprise and the sheer scale of the operation. The Allies managed to catch the Germans off guard, utilizing a combination of clever deception tactics, including fake radio transmissions and the creation of a phantom army. This diversionary strategy, known as Operation Fortitude, diverted German attention and forces away from the Normandy beaches, giving the invading troops a crucial advantage.

Foothold for Allied Forces

The significance of D-Day cannot be overstated. The successful invasion of Normandy provided a foothold for the Allied forces in Western Europe and marked the beginning of the end for Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. It opened up a second front against the Germans, diverting their attention and resources from the Eastern Front, where the Soviet Union was already engaged in a grueling war against Nazi forces. Many forget that the United States and England joined forces with the Soviet Union to defeat Adolph Hitler and the Third Reich.

Town of Harrison World War II Monument

International Cooperation

D-Day also served as a symbol of international cooperation and unity. It brought together troops from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and other Allied nations, demonstrating the power of collaboration in the face of a common enemy. The bravery and sacrifice displayed by the soldiers on that day were extraordinary, as they fought against overwhelming odds to secure freedom and justice for millions of people.

D-Day's significance extends beyond its military impact. It symbolizes the collective effort and unity of nations in the pursuit of freedom and the defeat of tyranny. The invasion showcased the resilience of the human spirit and the unwavering commitment to justice and democracy.

Paying Tribute to Ultimate Sacrifice

Today, we remember and honor the bravery of the soldiers who participated in D-Day. We pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as the countless civilians who endured the hardships of war. Their courage and sacrifice serve as a reminder of the price paid for the freedom we enjoy today.

As time passes, it becomes increasingly important to preserve the memory of D-Day and educate future generations about its historical significance. By understanding the lessons of the past, we can strive for a more peaceful and united world.

On this anniversary of D-Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the valor and sacrifices of those who fought for freedom. May their courage continue to inspire us to stand up against oppression, defend democracy, and work toward a brighter future.

Harrison NJ's Role on D-Day

The Town of Harrison played an important role in not just in the soldiers who volunteered or were drafted during World War II but by supplying war materials including bombs and ammunition used in World War II.  The Southern half of Harrison at one time was entirely Industrial and many of the companies worked 24/7 with three shifts during World War II to produce war supplies. 

Today, the Southern part of Harrison is almost all residential but developers pay homage to its industrial past with the names of their buildings and some with large photographs in their lobbies of what once graced the property where the new luxury apartment buildings are located.  Where the Steel Works, Cobalt Lofts, Vermella buildings, and the surrounding blocks up to the Path Station was the Crucible Steel complex which produced ammunition and war supplies.  The property and its huge brick and steel wide open warehouses later became the Charles F. Guyon Piping Company fabricated piping including piping that is used in nuclear power plants. Harrison has a great industrial history. Now you know why one of the streets in what was formerly the Crucible Steel complex is named Crucible Drive and another street Guyon Drive.

The Radio Corporation of America (RCA) supplied radios, radar systems, and replacement parts including tubes to the War Effort.  There were also high security sections of RCA's operation under the direction of the United States Military.

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