What I find remarkable about D-Day was that it resulted in the deaths of 2,499 U.S. military personnel. Let us consider that in the nearly 13 years of Operating Enduring Freedom, 2,324 U.S. soldiers that have been killed in Afghanistan.
I make this observation not to trivialize our losses in Afghanistan. Losing 2,324 of our soldiers in Afghanistan is not a trivial matter. But imagine if we lost 2,324 soldiers in Afghanistan in a single day. I remember the collective pain felt when we lost 243 Marines in Beirut in 1982. It is nearly unfathomable to imagine if we lost ten times that many in an instant.
Losing 2,499 soldiers on June 6, 1944 gives one a sense of the scope of Operation Overlord. Losing all those men was a terrrible blow, but the alternative would have been much worse. Those men undoubtedly knew this as they stormed the beaches of Normandy.