D-Day: A French Priest is Grateful

Today, seventy years on, this is heart warming:


As a Frenchman and as a priest, I’m really aware of what we owe this young generation of soldiers who died for us French to be free,” said Father Pujos, 44, who is a parochial vicar and chaplain at St. Catherine School.

Without his freedom, he may not have become a priest, he said.

“I’m a priest today … because I was raised in a free country, not occupied by the Nazis, nor by the Russian communists after World War II like half of Europe,” Father Pujos said.

As a young boy growing up in Paris, his family instilled in him a deep respect and appreciation for the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers who died that day.

During the Normandy invasion, called D-Day, some 156,000 allied troops launched the largest seaborne invasion in history against the German-occupied northern France and into Western Europe.

Causalities reached an estimated 12,000 that day along the 50-mile stretch of the Normandy beach. The victory contributed to the allied forces’ eventual victory over Nazi Germany.

His grandparents and parents, Jerome and Sylvie Pujos, always spoke to him about it. When he was young, his grandmother took him to the American cemetery in Normandy to pay their respect for the soldiers.

“I have a deep memory of the cemetery with all these thousands of tombs,” he said. “Each time I think about this cemetery, I get emotional because it’s striking.”

He recalls seeing row after row of white crosses marking the graves of young Americans.

“The field of crosses were perfectly taken care of and maintained,” he said. “As you got closer to the tombs, you would see the age of the soldiers. They were kids—18 or 21 years old.

“I will never forget about it,” Father Pujos said.

Go here to Denver Catholic Register to read the rest.  God bless you Father!

Published in: on June 6, 2014 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. If the Normandy landings had failed, Germany would still have lost the war. After the catastrophes of Stalingrad and Kursk, there was no going back. However,they would have lost it to Russia. Italy might still have fallen to the Western Allies, who were still there and had the support of the legitimate government, but France, the Low Countries, western Germany, and Denmark, would have enjoyed the blessings of the paradise of workers, like their unfortunate brothers in eastern Germany, Poland and the rest of eastern Europe did. For that alone the world has good reason to be grateful. Would there even have been a post-war recovery, quite apart from democracy surviving and growing strong, if the industrial core of Europe had fallen to Stalin?

    • By 1944 the Red Army had the momentum to win on its own. If the Allies, unthinkably, had made a separate peace with Hitler involving him evacuating France, Italy, Benelux and Norway, I think the Nazis could have achieved a stalemate, although in that event Stalin might have made a separate peace first, contingent on a Nazi evacuation of the Soviet Union. Of course no one trusted Hitler by 42, hence separate peaces remaining in the realm of alternate history.

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