Mrs. Jillian Bozzi Upper School History Teacher Reflects on D-Day

Mrs. Jillian Bozzi Upper School History Teacher Reflects on D-Day

Today, June 6th, 2024, marks the 80th anniversary of the largest naval invasion in history.  D-Day is a significant milestone as we remember one of the most crucial operations during World War II.  It invokes a deep sense of gratitude, solemn remembrance, and an appreciation of the enduring impact of this monumental event. 

D-Day, also known as Operation Overlord, was the Allied invasion of Normandy in Nazi-occupied France. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history and a turning point in World War II, leading to the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control. The 80th anniversary is particularly poignant as it likely marks one of the last major commemorations where a significant number of surviving veterans can attend. It emphasizes the importance of honoring their sacrifices and ensuring that the lessons and legacy of D-Day continue to be remembered by future generations.

Together, let’s reflect on a portion of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s prayer to the nation as D-Day commenced.

“Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.” 

The stories from this day 80 years ago are tales of courage, camaraderie, and resilience.  They are tales of heroism and tragedy emerging from every corner of the battlefield.  

Over 156,000 troops from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and other Allied nations participated in the invasion against German defenses.  Many soldiers, young and at war for the first time, showed bravery and selflessness.  

The legacy of D-Day extends beyond the end of World War II.  It continues to serve as a powerful reminder of the costs of war and the value of peace.  

In February, students in our Upper School community were able to visit the World War II Museum in New Orleans during their service trip.  Here, they were able to spend time at the D-Day exhibit where they were met with artifacts and stories of individual soldiers who participated in the invasion.  It allowed them a solemn moment to contemplate the ultimate cost of this victory. Below, I have attached pictures from our visit, as well as a link of a virtual tour of the museum, with focus on the D-Day exhibit.