Many factors are credited with the success of the allies in World War II, but D-Day was definitely a turning point. On June 6, 1944, allied troops invaded Normandy, France. American troops came ashore at Utah and Omaha beaches, while British and Canadians stormed other beaches.
Despite heavy German resistance, and despite losing tanks and other vehicles and supplies in the water, by day’s end the allies had made significant advances inland.
This began the liberation of France from the Germans and led to the invasion of Germany from the East. With Russia invading on the north, Germany was ultimately defeated when Adolf Hitler committed suicide on May 8, 1945 (“Victory in Europe Day”). It took another three months and nuclear destruction, however, before Japan surrendered.
How many people died as a direct result of World War II? In all countries combined 48,231,700 lives were lost. This includes 20,858,800 military and 27,372,900 civilians. Forty-eight million people killed, and that is only one of the wars earth has known.
This leads to another question, originally posed by Rodney King (1965-2012), "People, I just want to say, can't we all get along? Can't we all get along?" It seems that judging from the history of planet earth, the answer is no. We humans are a cantankerous lot. The Bible calls us sinners.
Nevertheless, reconciliation in small ways is possible. America’s major enemies 70 years ago, Germany, Japan, and Italy, are now our friends.
In fact, a plaque erected in 1995 at the National Memorial Cemetery of the Pacific (nicknamed Punchbowl) in Honolulu commemorates reconciliation between American, British, and Japanese veterans. Men, whose mission was to kill each other, shook hands in peace.
Is peace on earth possible? When angels announced Jesus’ birth to shepherds they proclaimed, Glory to God and peace to men (Luke 2:14).
Peace and reconciliation with God is a reality, as Romans 5:1-11 explains. But peace on earth is still future as predicted in Isaiah 9:6-7. Only the “Prince of Peace,” Jesus Christ, will be able to make “wars cease throughout the earth. He shatters bows and cuts spears to pieces;… ‘Stop your fighting—and know that I am God, exalted among the nations, exalted on the earth.’ Yahweh of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold “ (Psalm 46:9-10).
People can pray for God to bring peace to the nations. Meantime, they can experience peace with God by trusting in Jesus Christ as their Savior from sin.
Jesus’ death paid the penalty for our sin, thus removing the barrier between us and God. We merely need to accept this gift—reconciliation with God becomes available to everyone who believes in Jesus for it. Shalom.