We have been experiencing a drought here in Eastern Oklahoma for the past year or so. But in the last 30 days we have been blessed with 5 inches of rain which is a lot for us. Everything is green and lush and the temperatures have been mild. We hope it lasts.
The challenge for this week is "Bright Colors". Yesterday's photo would have worked, but here is another. This is Painted on a wall at 3rd and Kenosha in downtown Tulsa and denotes the boundary of an area designated as the Eastvillage.
Saturday June 7 was Smokey's 14th birthday. Sue and I took him to dinner at our favorite Mexican restaurant where we sat outside and he enjoyed his very own beef burrito. He licked the platter clean. Smokey came to live with me when he was 8 weeks old and has been a delight every day since then. I am an old guy and have always had a dog for a companion. I have had some really good dogs but Smokey is the best. An American Bull Terrier (Pit Bull), he is the gentlest most well mannered dog I have ever had.
Pits get a bad rap. They are by nature calm and gentle. They are also very powerfully built. When abused or neglected they can become dangerous, especially if allowed to run loose. When raised gently their best qualities are apparent. Dogs are like our children, the way they turn out depends largely on how they are raised. Smokey was never spanked with anything, my hand, a newspaper or anything else. When he was corrected it was by a voice command. He understood a sharp "no" as well as any swat. When someone comes to our door, Smokey never barks. He trots to the door and wags his tail assuming that whoever is there has come to pet him. To know him is to love him.
June 6, 2014 was the 70th annversary of the Normandy invasion. The Normandy American Cemetery is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach and the English
Channel near the village of Colleville-sur-Merlies. The
cemetery covers 70 hectare (172 acres), and contains the remains of
9,387 American military dead, most of whom were killed during the
invasion of Normandy and ensuing military operations in World War II.
Included are graves of Army Air Force crews shot down over France as
early as 1942. The names of another 1,557 Americans who lost their
lives in the conflict but could not be located and/or identified are
inscribed on the walls of a semicircular garden at the east side of the
France has granted the United States a special,
perpetual concession to the land occupied by the cemetery, free of any
charge or any tax. This cemetery is managed by the American government,
under Congressional acts that provide yearly financial support for
maintaining them, with most military and civil personnel employed
abroad. The U.S. flag flies over these granted soils. The graves face westward, towards the United States.
The Normandy landings were the landing operations of the Allied invasion
of Normandy, also known as Operation Overlord and Operation Neptune,
during World War II. The landings commenced on Tuesday, 6 June 1944
(D-Day), beginning at 6:30 AM British Double Summer Time (GMT+2). In
planning, D-Day was the term used for the day of actual landing, which
was dependent on final approval. The assault was conducted in two
phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American,
Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an
amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the
coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM.
The operation was the largest
amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing
on 6 June 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over
5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of
soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft
and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the
English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a
50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors:
Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. 11,590 aircraft were available to
support the landings. On D-Day, Allied aircraft flew 14,674 sorties, and
127 were lost.
Over 425,000 Allied and German
troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of
Normandy. This figure includes over 209,000 Allied casualties, with
nearly 37,000 dead amongst the ground forces and a further 16,714 deaths
amongst the Allied air forces. Of the Allied casualties, 83,045 were
from British, Canadian and Polish ground forces, 125,847 from the US
The losses of the German forces during
the Battle of Normandy can only be estimated. Roughly 200,000 German
troops were killed or wounded. The Allies also captured 200,000
prisoners of war (not included in the 425,000 total, above).
Today, twenty-seven war
cemeteries hold the remains of over 110,000 dead from both sides. The
American Cemetery at Normandy contains the remains of 9,387 American
military dead. Of this number, some 307 are unknowns, three are Medal of
Honor winners, and four are women. In addition there are 33 pairs of
brothers buried side by side. The families of the deceased were given
the option of having the dead returned to their homes to be buried.
About 60% asked for their return. The remainder are buried at