Dr. Gene Dorio | The Meaning of D-Day

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

Robin and I share a family bond. Both our fathers were wounded World War II veterans.

Her father was on the water, taken to a British hospital unconscious after his ship was bombed in the North Atlantic. My father was in the air, known then as the Army Air Corps, later called the U.S. Air Force. His plane in the South Pacific was hit by artillery fire, causing shrapnel wounds to his leg, which almost led to amputation. 

Both survived and returned home to have normal family lives, yet neither talked about their war experiences during their time with us.

We celebrated holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day, but the most important day was June 6, D-Day. Our fathers honored those who participated and inspired them to keep up their fight.

On the recent 80th D-Day anniversary at the beach in Normandy, those who fought were there again, many in wheelchairs in their 90s, and now some over 100, to honor those who did not make it home.

On those beaches, over 2,500 Americans died on June 6, 1944, giving the Allies a foothold back on the European continent to corral the spreading warpath against democracy. At that time, this invasion inspired others, including our fathers in the North Atlantic and the South Pacific.

The reality is sometimes you have to fight. My father was a pacifist, yet because he was raised on a farm and could fly a crop duster, even in his early 40s, he volunteered to serve his country because of the skills he brought to the Air Corps. He exemplified courage, and was our hero.

On June 6, 1944, this nation and many other allied countries fought against despotic leaders and world domination. It was the duty of our fathers to pick up arms and fight back, and they did not sway from this moral obligation. 

Democracy is fragile. What would this country be like if our fathers and thousands of others had not had the character and fortitude to protect our nation?

World leaders at Normandy recently praised those present and those who sacrificed their lives. I know our fathers would have been aghast at the ugly rhetoric of anyone who would say those who died were “losers” and “suckers”! 

As a geriatric doctor, I cringe to think there might be nursing home residents, men and women, who contributed to defending this country during World War II and are now forgotten. 

American leadership must respect and honor those who have served. How we care for our veterans reflects who we are as a nation.

I know our fathers would want to be remembered with the reverence they, as veterans, deserve.

Dr. Gene Dorio


Related To This Story

Latest NEWS