I was surprised to see that the only mention of D-Day in your June 6 edition was in the “Peanuts” comic strip. My father and a great number of men who were role models for me when I was growing up were World War II veterans. D-Day wasn’t a walk on the beach.

These “average” men put everything on hold to go overseas to fight what was surely the greatest threat, ever, to our civilization. Most never expected to return.

A friend’s Canadian father, enlisted in the British army, was away from home for seven years! Imagine, with no email or cellphone. Mail was very erratic, and his family often didn’t know for months at a time whether or not he was even alive.

Today I read the remarkable obituary for one of those “average” men, longtime Buxton resident Raymond Eli Reitze, who was captured in North Africa, spent over two years as a prisoner of war and weighed 87 pounds at liberation.

These men made sacrifices that we cannot imagine, rarely talked about their horrors because it just wasn’t done, came back to nonchalantly resume life and family. Most are in their 90s now, and dying at the rate of 1,000 a day.

We can afford to honor them, every D-Day, forever, and we’ll never come close to paying back the debt we owe them.

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