On D-Day anniversary, trying to comprehend the incomprehensible

I’ve watched nearly every documentary and every movie about D-Day over my 60 years, but I am still completely incapable of wrapping my head around the magnitude of the horror of what happened on the beaches 70 years ago today.

It’s not for lack of trying, nor lack of listening to the stories of the men who were there. It’s simply something my human brain can’t comprehend, nor understand how anyone can survive that kind of horror.

The late Charles Durning’s narrative at the 2007 Memorial Day observance, in particular, reinforces this.

Last fall, to mark Peace Day, The Fallen 9000 project, tried to convey the loss. As the tide started to go out, it stenciled images of a dead soldier on the beach.

Photo: The Fallen 9000 project

They nearly ran out of time with the incoming tide before 9,000 bodies lay on the beach once more.

Photo: The Fallen 9000 project Photo: The Fallen 9000 project

This week in particular, it’s been easy and convenient for many Americans to be expert on how people should respond to the horrors of war. But we are from generations far removed from war’s reality and we are often ignorant in our expertise.

Related: 70 years on: the facts you may not know about D-Day (euronews).

D-Day: 6th June 1944 as it happened (Telegraph).