This Friday, June 6, will mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

This Friday, June 6, will mark the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, the Allied Invasion of Normandy.

Operation Overlord was a major turning point in World War II, hindering Hitler's dream of Nazi dominance.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower, who would later become president, was supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force at that time and gave the go-ahead for the operation.

At this time, Nazi Germany controlled most of Western Europe. Allied forces, which numbered 156,000, prepared for the largest air, land and sea operation undertaken at that point.

There was a window of only four days where the weather would permit the attack. After bad weather hit the English Channel on June 4, Eisenhower was left to determine if Operation Overlord should be postponed.

By 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, President Franklin Roosevelt received word that the invasion commenced.

The landing included over 5,000 ships and 11,000 airplanes. Years of planning and training came down to this plan: boat ramp goes down, then jump, swim, run and crawl to the cliffs.

Many men carried 80 pounds of equipment with them as they headed for land, facing 200 yards of beach before finding anything that would offer protection from small-arms fire and artillery.

By the end of Operation Overlord, the Allied Forces suffered around 10,000 casualties, including 4,000 deaths.

Despite the loss, the Allied Forces successfully breached Fortress Europe.

D-Day is known as the beginning of the end for World War II and another step towards defeating Nazi Germany.

We must never forget the men and women who were part of D-Day and those who paid the ultimate sacrifice that day. Members of the military are fighting to protect those rights we sometimes take for granted and they deserve every bit of recognition possible.

Waters is a staff writer for The Wayne Independent and can be reached at