The day before the greatest armada ever assembled set sail for the coast of Normandy, Gen. Dwight David Eisenhower walked among the men of the 101st Airborne Division, who were boarding the aircraft that would drop them behind German lines in advance of the landings, where many of them would die. Cheerful, seemingly at ease, he asked their names and hometowns and what they had done for a living before the war. One young paratrooper stopped just as he was boarding his plane, turned around and snapped a salute to the supreme allied commander, who returned it smartly and flashed a smile. Then Eisenhower turned away and wept.
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