Wednesday, June 6, 2012

D-Day: A tale of two writers

On this day, I think of 6/6/44. It happened before I was born, but this is what I think of:

--Soldiers landing on the beaches of Normandy. Among them, JD Salinger.
--Anne Frank and her family clustered around a radio in their hiding place, listening to the news that the long-awaited invasion had begun. Their excitement that freedom was finally close at hand.
--The beaches where I walked myself about 50 years after D-Day, beaches still marked with bomb craters and pieces of bunkers. Beaches where we were told not to dig because of the risk of unexploded ordnance. Cliffs that I was glad I did not have to climb while wearing waterlogged combat gear and dodging enemy fire.

On that day, Anne Frank was safe. Her family would not be captured for another two months. JD Salinger was in a battle with horrible casualties. (More battles with high casualty rates would follow.) Yet he survived the war; she did not.

We never know how the story will turn out.


  1. Amazing post.

    I walked the Normandy beaches a few years ago, myself. It's a truly chilling experience.

    1. I'm so glad I went. There were a few veterans there. That won't always be the case.

  2. Unpredictable and sometimes sadly unfair.

    1. Mostly unfair and really ghastly. I think one thing I like about D-Day is that hopeful, beginning-of-the-end feeling associated with it. Even though its violence was ghastly too.