They came ashore in endless waves, the Americans, Brits, Canadians and free French soldiers. Many died on the beach under heavy fire without cover. Many were so weighed down by their gear that they didn't even make it ashore. Some couldn't swim.
Militarily, it wasn't the best strategy. It simply threw exposed men against an enemy firmly entrenched in concrete bunkers and pillboxes. Its only hope for success was in sacrificing sheer numbers of lives on the gamble that enough would get through to finally establish a few beachheads that would enable more to come ashore. Men were expended because they were the cheapest and most plentiful resource available to the commanders.
So they went. And the telegrams started arriving all over America. No one involved ever saw their lives and history without the dividing line of D-Day, June 6, 1944.
Rest well, brothers and the few remaining survivors. Thank you more than words can say.