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75 years ago today, the largest amphibious invasion in world history was launched. Its objective was to reclaim Europe from a horrible evil. More than 160,000 troops landed on the beaches of Normandy that day. About 10,000 of them were either killed or wounded.
One of the warfighters contributing to the operation was Amarillo native, Coastguardsman Delba L. Nivens. As Nivens's ship neared Omaha Beach, a German shell caused a grenade being carried by an onboard solider to explode, catching the boat on fire. Nivens and the crew got their men to the beach, extinguished the fire and made repairs, all while being under attack by the Germans. That kind of bravery and of dedication to completing a mission continues to inspire us today.
Much of the world will be watching the ceremonies to commemorate this seminal event in world history. But what we remember most are the stories of the individuals, from Eisenhower the Commander to the young soldiers, many of them quite young, storming the beaches.
The men of D-Day were focused on doing their part in the larger effort. They knew the stakes -- what they were fighting for as well as what they were fighting against. They were determined not to let down their buddies or their country.
Not only must we remember and honor their individual acts of courage 75 years later, but we must make our own commitments to uphold the values for which they fought. As President Reagan said on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, "Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died."
To read more about Delba L. Nivens click here.Sincerely,