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Daily News Editorial

By Staff | Jun 6, 2008

It was 64 years ago today that the greatest armada in history saved the world.

It was D-Day.

Names like Omaha, Utah, and Sword Beaches still ring out with the fire and smoke and clamor of war for those who fought on that French shore, taking merciless German fire as they slowly made their way over barbed wire and cannon and machine gun fire to more fire and eventually to the invasion of Europe.

Today, a D-Day veteran would be at least 82 years old, given the brief time a soldier spent in boot camp and training before shipping out for Europe. Those veterans are now elderly, but one thing that certainly is not frail is their memories of the D-Day invasion and the profound courage shown by their comrades.

Every day, hundreds of D-Day veterans pass away, their stories untold except for faded and crumbling letters stowed away in shoe boxes with bronze and silver stars, purple hearts, and medals of honor they were too humble to wear.

So how do we honor them?

We honor them by honoring the soldiers of today, those who carry on the same mission of protecting America from its enemies foreign and domestic.

Somewhere in Afghanistan or Iraq today, there is a grandson or great-grandson of someone who fought on those French shores so long ago. While the geography and terrain and mission may be different, that soldier’s dedication remains the same — to lay his or her life down if necessary to save the life of a fellow soldier.

In France, the enemy was obvious. He was the one who fired those big German cannons or flew overhead for the Luftwaffe.

The enemy in Afghanistan and Iraq is not nearly so obvious. The enemy our soldiers face today could be someone who smiles and jokes during the day and plants IEDs along the roadside at night.

And just as the current enemy is not as obvious, the scars that our soldiers bear on returning home are not as obvious.

We should support their mission and dedication to saving our country and way of life, just as we did for those who fought and died 64 years ago today. And when they do return home, we should dedicate all of our resources to helping them readjust to civilian life by treating all their wounds, the obvious as well as the not so obvious, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome.

While all of our D-Day veterans are not here to be honored, the veterans of today are. By honoring the veterans of today, we honor those of the past.

Their grandfathers and great-grandfathers would have agreed.

More on the election

We had some questions regarding our Thursday editorial on Tuesday’s election.

When we said voters had the chance to vote twice, we were referring to those who may have changed parties to vote for a candidate just for Tuesday’s primary in addition to voting in the November general election. Then again, everyone had the change to vote twice, once in the primary and one in November. Hopefully, no one in Emmet County voted more than once on Tuesday.

Emmet County Auditor Bev Juhl also called to point out that voters have been able to change their party registrations at the polls for a number of years now. What is relatively new is the same-day registration in which voters can now register when they vote.