The victorious dead
What most people don't realise is that the offensive could easily have failed. That it didn't is a testament to superior planning, logistics, a series of elaborate and difficult deception manoeuvres that took place before the landings began, and the extraordinary grit and determination of those who fought on, above, and beyond the deadly sands of Normandy.
These were men who held themselves accountable for what they had to do. For example, when Gen. Eisenhower was planning for the D-Day invasion, he penned a short, 66-word speech to be used in case the invasion was bogged down and failed. He knew what was at stake- the Churchill government would be toppled, he would lose his position as Supreme Allied Commander, and the morale of the Allied forces would be shattered, perhaps irretrievably.
In that speech, Gen. Eisenhower didn't dodge or blame any unknown factors in case his brainchild failed. He would take full responsibility upon himself for the failure of OVERLORD, falling metaphorically upon his own sword.
In other words, he would do what a man must do in the face of failure: take responsibility, and face up to the consequences of his decisions.
On this day, spare a moment to remember the Greatest Generation. Remember what they fought and died for. Remember what made them great.
HAIL the victorious dead!