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On June 6, 1944, the D-Day invasion of Europe took place during World War II as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

At work, the people with whom I interact every day, 8 hours a day, have WWII in their zeitgeist as a byline of history, along with WWI, the Roman Empire, the Reformation and other items of long ago.

At home and in church I interact with people my own age and older, for whom WWII is a personal historical time. There are events remembered, fears recalled and hopes shared with people still living. WWII is remembered as a shaping time for the current world we live in--living history.

My very earliest memory is of being afraid of the dark. We had blackout curtains over the windows and after dark were not allowed to have the lights on in the apartment because we might be bombed by the Germans. I can remember taking the tiniest peek out of the curtains and seeing a single car down below on a 4-lane street (gasoline was rationed and few had the option to drive) with its headlights blacked out.

Then I knew it was for real and there were real things to fear, not just the imaginary one under my bed, waiting to grab me by the ankles when I put my bare feet on the floor.

64 years ago. Not ancient history at all, at all.

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