It is always difficult to find the balance between the tragedy and glory of war. “How is the church doing?” is not answered with accounts of defeat but with accounts of victory. So it is with most of our accounts of our servicemen giving their all in the wars they fought in behalf of our nation and (in my opinion) usually for what is right.
The battle at Omaha Beach is one of those occassions where the accounts relayed to us highlight the overcomers. They had to overcome alot as is shown in this 1960 article.
It makes for a sober read.
A short quote that catches many people’s attention, including mine, is found within:
For Pearce and his friends, it is a first taste of battle; its success is giddying. Heads up, they walk along the road straight into Vierville, disregarding all precautions. They get away with it only because that village is already firmly in the hands of Lieutenant Walter Taylor of Baker Company and twenty men from his boat team.
Taylor is a luminous figure in the story of D Day, one of the forty-seven immortals of Omaha who, by their dauntless initiative at widely separated points along the beach, saved the landing from total stagnation and disaster. Courage and luck are his in extraordinary measure.
Whom the writer was talking about, these 47, seem to be destined to anonymity.
I found this footnote about Lt. Taylor:
For his efforts on June 6th, Lt. Taylor was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross. The accompanying citation states, “Second Lieutenant Taylor’s intrepid actions, personal bravery and zealous devotion to duty exemplify the highest traditions of the military forces of the United States and reflect great credit upon himself, the 29th Infantry Division, and the United States Army.”
As a nation, we are continually blessed to have such men and women.
As for Taylor himself, he survived the war.
He passed on April 17, 2003, a retiree of the Baltimore Police Department.
May God bless him and all those who fought, sacrificed and died on that terrible day so that Europe could be whole and free.