Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based upon the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that Bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.
The troops did not fail. More than 140,000 Allied soldiers came ashore at Normandy, on this day 69 years ago. The Second Front so long in the coming was established. The cost was more than ten thousand casualties, of which approximately 4,000 were killed. The same number that died in Iraq in eight years, died on the French coast in a single morning. Tens of thousands more would die before Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally eleven months and one day later.
General Dwight Eisenhower’s famous note hearkens to a brand of leadership seemingly all but extinct today. People in positions of great responsibility shouldering the burden for their decisions and everything that is done or fails to be done by those in their charge. What difference does it make? The difference between victory and defeat, liberty and subjugation, existence and extinction.