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Watching WWII Vets Honored as They Fly Off to Normandy for the 80th Anniversary of D-Day Will Restore Your Faith in America

Castel Franck. Shutterstock Images.

Thursday is the 80th Anniversary of one of the most horrific, heroic, and therefore most honored days in the history of not only the United States, but of Great Britain, Canada, and several of the over British Commonwealth nations. 

Which means this event last Friday took place, using the military parlance of 1944, D-Day +29,216: 

Alright. Stop. Take a deep breath. Get a hold of yourself. You're making a scene.

A case can be made that it's become way too acceptable for grown men to cry in public. Between reality shows like Survivor, The Bachelorette and The Amazing Race, you can't make it from one commercial break to the next without someone sobbing like they've just been pepper sprayed. And those are glorified game shows. But there's no shame whatsoever in allowing yourself to be reduced to a puddle of tears when bearing witness to a scene such as this. 

You might get your masculinity questioned anytime you let the waterworks flow in front of other people. But in the presence of these testosterone-fueled giants, the manhood of even the bravest among us doesn't stand a chance anyway. Besides, I defy you to watch that one aging warrior at the 0:35 mark walking under his own power and stopping to salute the crowd and stay in control of your emotions. If you're able to, get yourself checked out. You'll probably test negative for a soul. 

But not just him. That goes for every one of these proud, brave men, regardless of how ambulatory they are in 2024. It's a miracle anyone storming the beaches of Juno, Sword, Utah, Gold or Omaha even heard the German artillery over the sound of their cast iron testicles clanging together as they ran into the fray. It was smart of Hitler he took the coward's way out and ate a bullet before these beserkers got to him. In their mighty hands, he wouldn't have gotten off so easily.

Here are the details:

Source - A group of 68 World War II veterans embarked on a whirlwind trip to France in recognition of the 80th anniversary of D-Day. Leaving Dallas/Fort Worth on Friday, American donated a specially-chartered Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner for the trip across the pond.

Of the veterans onboard, the oldest was 107 years old with the youngest being 96. They were also joined by six Medal of Honor recipients along with over  50 cadets and midshipmen from various service branches who accompanied the veterans.

Starting in Paris, the group will venture north over the next several days as they visit memorial sites in Normandy.

Human beings need a lot of things to survive. Food. Water. Shelter. Companionship. Without any of these, we die. But in order for a culture to survive, we need heroes to look up to. Valiant, larger-than-life figures whose tales of heroism we can hold up as examples and aspire to be are as essential to our species as air to breathe. From the ancient myths and legends to Biblical stories to the folklore of tribes around the world. It's a part of who we are and always will be.

Unfortunately, heroes are hard to come by in an age where we know way too much about each other. About one another's flaws. Our human failings. Our embarrassing shortcomings. But as long as these Soldiers, Sailors and Marines are among us, at the very least we'll have them to hold up as a reminder of what great feats humans are capable of. 

One of them was 27 on that historic day. But the vast majority of them were probably not even legal adults when they got into those landing craft, terrified they wouldn't last the first minute that ramp went down, much less 80 years into the future. And what they did that day - and all the "D-Day +" days to follow - was nothing less than to save the world. 

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to spend the rest of the day watching our fellow Americans give these vets the treatment they deserve, so I can feel good about my country. 


P.S. Let's just pray Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner they're taking is one of the good ones. Though I doubt even losing parts of a plane over the Atlantic could put a scratch on one of these badasses.