Phone: 203 742-1450
Fairfield County Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of Bridgeport

June 6, 2024

Today marks the 80th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied invasion of Normandy beaches in Northern France during World War II, which began the liberation of Western Europe from the Nazis. Historians often describe the operation as “the beginning of the end of World War II.”

Stephen AmbroseOn June 6, 1944, Operation Overlord began. It was the largest seaborne invasion in history, with troops from the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and other countries taking part. By the end of the day, 156,000 Allied soldiers had landed; however, German soldiers defending the beaches killed about 4,400 troops, 2,500 of them Americans.

After several days, 326,000 troops, 50,000 vehicles and 100,000 tons of equipment had been brought ashore. Within two months, Northern France had been liberated and by the spring of the following year, the Germans had been defeated.

One of the greatest war movies ever made is “Saving Private Ryan,” inspired by the books of Stephen Ambrose and the accounts of casualties in the Niland family. In the film, General of the Army, George C. Marshall gave approval for a search and rescue mission to find the missing Private James Francis Ryan, whose three brothers had already been killed in action. Ryan, who was with the 101st Airborne Division, was listed as missing following the invasion.

One of the most iconic moments in the film occurs when General Marshall has to weigh the divided opinions of his staff and decide whether or not to save Private Ryan. Here is the powerful scene from the movie, (


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