Into the Jaws of Death – 6/6/1944

U.S. Army soldiers wade ashore on Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy landings of World War II.
U.S. Army soldiers wade ashore on Omaha Beach as part of the Normandy landings of World War II.

“We do not know or seek what our fate will be. We ask only this, that if die we must, that we die as men would die, without complaining, without pleading and safe in the feeling that we have done our best for what we believed was right.” — Lt. Col. Robert L. Wolverton, CO 3rd battalion, 506th PIR.

Memorial Day and such is all well and good. But sometimes we need to remember specific days, so that we don’t forget… So we don’t forget the tragic consequences of our human darkness, our imperfection and evil. And so we don’t forget our human light, the self-sacrifice and bravery of those who helped bring us out of the dark, becoming casualties in the process.

The quote above is just one part of a powerful, moving prayer this officer gave on June 6th, 1944 before his parachute battalion were to be dropped behind enemy lines. A few hours later, Robert Wolverton was killed by German machine gun fire as he hung with his chute tangled in a tree in an orchard outside St. Come-du-Mont, Normandy, France. Wolverton sustained “162 bullet holes and bayonet wounds” due to German troops using him as target practice.

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