|The Normandy Invasion, also known as D-day, began on June 6, 1944. Encyclopedia Britannica describes it well and you can read more about it by pressing the link.
What it meant to history is a well documented fact. However, what it meant to one Aberdeen/Wishkah family can hardly be put to words. Yet my mother managed to write to her two brothers, Joseph AKA "Joey" (paratrooper) and Julian AKA "Red" (tank brigade) who were in the European theatre.
So on June 6, 1944, after a full day at her store, followed by several hours at the Red Cross, preparing bandages she hoped "would never be used" my mother took out her typewriter and wrote the below letter. She did say she was quite "tired." Julian saved the letter. His daughter, Monica, sent it to me. Thank you Monica.
June 6, 1944
Dear Joey & Red:
I know every mother with a son at the front has written him a letter today. Yours prayed for you instead because she couldn’t put into words all the love and prayer in her heart. But it’s the end of the day now. I’m just home from the three hour class at the Red Cross where everyone turned out in mass to make the dressings we hope will not have to be used. Tonight and all this day the whole world stays awake to war and its tragedies. Those of us who have “family” in the thick of it cannot think of much else but them.
Our radio went out of commission last night and so some of us were not aware the invasion started, ‘til I got to work this morning and all the clerks and people were standing about speaking about it. Well we have been at war so long now and you boys have been in danger many times so by now I thought was quite immune to all feelings of anxiety and love that today became so poignant. Mother inst around to hear the radio or people in discussion and this is a blessing cause it will keep her happy as she has been trusting. And you boys won’t need to worry about your parents cause they are so strong of faith even you will be safe from harm.
Still if Mother could she would be writing you everyday to bring you the courage you need and the hope that comes with Faith. She must shield you from every bullet and all harm. Mothers are like that but next to them come brothers and sisters. The whole family you left behind, you never are separated from being a part of us. You’re never forgotten either in our love or in our prayer. We get up in the morning thinking what time it is in England, in Rome and now in Germany, what you might be doing. We love you so and love calls for prayer. It can’t be that all will come through unscathed. Only God is so good.
Today everyone was so excited cause it looks like Germany will give up maybe. They retreated from Rome and saved something sacred to civilization regardless of creed. That’s more than they ever considered before. Its hope now and we all are thinking maybe this invasion will put a stop to war.
They told of paratroopers’ behind the enemy lines and the fleet circling and some where in between these two are the tanks no doubt and out back of the enemy lines will be Joey. I don’t know how to say it but wish it would bring you some joy to know we are with you through every hour that you are there.
Some where I read once, about a boy in the service who was one out of eight children. He felt so proud cause there were nine behind to stand back of him when things went tough. Joey and Red, you have ever more cause we all are such a part of one another bound through love that you each have a generous dozen standing back of you. Now Mother could write you a swell letter if she had the language to do it. I haven’t that knack only a desire and longing to tell you how close we are to you now.
President Roosevelt set aside this Wednesday as prayer day for all people. That’s tomorrow and in our church we have had a continuous prayer-day. For weeks now. Some how it’s the greatest consolation to know America trusts in God. United so, we cannot help but win. Just remember Joey and Red, you aren’t alone. That will keep you from getting lonely and it will give you strength and courage to face tasks that seem so hard at times.
This almost looks like the Chief will get no letter tonight but that Chief would give up any letters at present to have me write you boys. I will do better another time when I am not half asleep on the joy here and Rose will add to this in the morning, maybe Jeanne too. Til left this noon so she will be writing direct from her old Post or her new one. She is the one who can write swell letters.
Goodnight and God bless you both and keep you safe from all harm and bring you back pretty soon.