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June 6, 1944; the day when allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy. Four days after D-Day a German soldier, Franz Gockel wrote to his family describing it. “We shot at everything that moved. The beach was soon covered with the bodies of American soldiers.” Maybe some of you have seen the opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan, Hollywood’s vivid depiction of what it was like on that day to be an American soldier who arrived on an armored passenger transport by sea, but when the big armored door was lowered to instantly have hundreds of shots fired at you, and to see the men in front of you fall to their death. 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded, or went missing in action. Over 53,000 Allied troops were reported as killed, all on one fateful day.

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