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Emma Gillanders

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Tiffany Brooks


The 2023 Essay Prompt:

Next year, 2024, marks the 80th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion. On June 6, 1984, during the 40th Anniversary of the Invasion attended by President Ronald Reagan and other world-wide Heads of State and dignitaries, Queen Elizabeth II made a striking speech in which she said, “There are only a few occasions in history when the course of human destiny had depended on the events of a single day.  June the sixth, 1944, was one of those critical moments.”

     General Omar Bradley, Field Commander of American troops at Normandy’s Omaha and Utah Beach, wrote in his memoirs: “Omaha Beach was a nightmare. Even now it brings pain to recall what happened there on June 6, 1944.  I have returned many times to honor the valiant men who died on that beach.  They should never be forgotten.  Nor should those who lived to carry the day by the slimmest of margins.”

-  Describe the significance of the role the USS Emmons and other American destroyers played in turning the tide of battle at a critical point during the Normandy landings at Omaha Beach as described in “The Emmons Saga” and other historical reference documents.

-  Relate how the outcome of this historic battle changed the course of history for future generations throughout the world and its impact on you personally as an Emmons family member.

-  Explain why you feel it is important that the significance of June 6, 1944 and the sacrifice of approximately 3,000 American servicemembers who perished that day on Omaha Beach be preserved for future generations of Americans so as not to allow it to fade from memory with the passage of time.


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