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I still can’t believe you didn’t know what D-Day was.


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All I knew was it had to do with World War II and beaches. And, required lots of strategic planning. Remember, I am not a history buff like you.


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Or a movie buff. There has been an assortment of D-Day movies, and I wouldn’t expect you to have watched the older movies, like “ The Longest Day” with John Wayne, but I figured you’d have seen “ Saving Private Ryan .”


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The Tom Hanks movie? It was a great war movie, but from what I remember, it was about the search for a particular soldier during WWII. Although I remember the opening scene showed the horrors of war. Regardless, I do not get my “history” from movies that might take literary license for the sake of storytelling, even if Steven Spielberg’s movies are mostly accurate.


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That opening scene WAS D-Day.


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I know that … now. I always remembered D-Day fell on June 6 because Mom and Daddy got married on June 6 (1950). And, almost 40 years later, you got married on their anniversary.

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Well, that’s ancient history. And unfortunately, my marriage wasn’t as successful as D-Day. Although I’m not a WWII expert, D-Day’s also known as the Battle of Normandy and considered the beginning of the end of the war in Europe. It was an incredible turning point and changed the course of the war . And history.

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I have always found it fascinating how a singular event can turn the tide, not only through its success in the moment but in its ability to inspire people. How bravery, perseverance, and the willingness to fight for what you genuinely believe, to the death, if necessary, is extremely powerful.

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Are you talking about D-Day or more recent events, such as the war in Ukraine? I can draw parallels as they’re both about fighting for freedom in Europe, which also impacts the world. But it’s as if people refuse to learn lessons from history. And we live in a world, in a country, that’s becoming more and more polarized, with seemingly fewer and fewer people willing to put the greater good above themselves.

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That is why days of remembrance, such as D-Day, are so important. I may not have known the specific details, but that does not stop me from appreciating and respecting the sacrifices that so many made for our country. At the time, those soldiers may not have known the far-reaching impact of their actions, or even whether they would be successful, but that did not lessen their commitment and bravery.

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I can’t imagine the feeling of responsibility and willingness to die for the future of the free world. Historians regard it as one of the greatest military achievements ever, but not to lessen its significance, and I’m almost embarrassed to admit this, but I’ve never known what the “D” in D-Day stands for? Maybe Departure, Decision, or even Doomsday? Although I could make a case for Democracy, Determination, or Daring.

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How about “Day”? And no, I am not being sarcastic. “ D-Day” was an Army designation used to indicate the start date for a specific field operation. So, it does not stand for anything. At least, not at the time … because D-Day now stands for so much.

To honor the significance of D-Day, consider taking a few moments for these inspiring quotes.

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It’s #GivingTuesday, and although it’s always a good time to think of others, remember all the people who are continuing to deal with the aftermath of natural disasters long after the headlines have been forgotten.

And even though Black believes charitable giving can be “secretive”, she also knows there’s science proving helping others is good for you. (Warning: she likes to recommend the book “Wonder Drug: 7 Scientifically Proven Ways That Serving Others Is the Best Medicine for Yourself.“)

P.S. – Wherever you may choose to donate, beware of potential scammers. So, if in doubt – check them out! (Black likes GuideStar and Charity Navigator.)



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I know today’s Giving Tuesday, but what I always find so amazing is how you treat every day as “Giving Tuesday."


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What makes you say that? I do not donate to an organization or charity every day.


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You’re always so literal. I meant that the spirit of “giving to others”, whether donating or providing support in some way, seems to be part of your daily life.


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I think you are exaggerating.
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Photo courtesy of Red’s eldest daughter, Natasha


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At the risk of asking you a warm and fuzzy question, have you thought about what you’re most thankful for this Thanksgiving?


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Yes.


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I should’ve guessed that you’d take the question literally. Could you expand on that a little, or at least give me a hint?
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When Red was a child, toilets represented more than a place to go when, well, you had to go. Much to Black’s amusement, Red saw cleaning them as a reward. (Really! Check out Red's post below.) But neither of us realized that billions of people don’t have access to toilets. And if it weren’t for today being World Toilet Day, we never would have known the magnitude of the associated health and safety issues – or the connection between sanitation and groundwater.

RED: What can I tell you? When I was a kid, one of my all-time favorite things to do was … clean the toilet. Yes, you read that correctly. And it wasn’t because I was a germophobe or a clean freak. I just loved being able to sit on the floor, using as much Bon Ami (I’ve no idea why I remember the brand) cleaning powder as I wanted. And the best part? All those bubbles!

It kept me entertained for hours. Not to mention, my mom was thrilled because it kept me “contained” and out of her hair. So much so that if I was very good and behaved myself, she might even give me “special permission” to clean the toilet in my parent’s bathroom. Of course, Black, being five years older and understanding the situation, found it all extremely amusing. Even now, decades later, she still gives me grief about it,

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