LAMB: Why was it a great day?
AMBROSE: You know, you can’t exaggerate it. You can’t overstate it. It was the pivot point of the 20th century. It was the day on which the decision was made as to who was going to rule in this world in the second half of the 20th century. Is it going to be Nazism, is it going to be communism, or are the democracies going to prevail? If we would have failed on Omaha Beach and on the other beaches on the 6th of June in 1944, the struggle for Europe would have been a struggle between Hitler and Stalin, and we would have been out of it. …
And on this D-Day anniversary, 71 years later, my friend and shipmate Gene Beckstrom visited Washington DC and the war memorials, thanks to an Honor Flight where heroes like Gene are treated to an all expense visit to the memorials erected in their honor.
Gene served on the USS Porterfield (DD-682) from 1943 through the end of the war in 1946 II was on the Porterfield in 1965-66) and then joined the Army where he served as a combat engineer during the horrific battles of Korea. Gene also served for a short time in Vietnam before retiring from the Army in 1969 after 20 years. Since then Gene has been a Baptist pastor and during the past 25 years has started 19 small churches in the rural northern Minnesota region.
Well done my friend and shipmate – I salute you!
And I salute the other shipmates from that great war that I have met in the last several years.
Don Johnson – June 2015