The Longest Day


As the 75th Anniversary of D-Day approaches, I’ve been thinking a lot about Cornelius Ryan’s book, The Longest Day. The book was published in 1959, and I read it as a teenager. Then, I was swept away by this heroic tale of the soldiers taking part in the first day of the Allied Normandy Invasion. When I reread it as an adult many years later, I came to realize that The Longest Day was perhaps the greatest book of journalistic non-fiction that I had ever read. Mr. Ryan passed away in 1974, but each year, the journalists of the Overseas Press Club of America give “The Cornelius Ryan Award” to the journalist who has written the “best nonfiction book on international affairs.” Let us commemorate these D-Day heroes for their service and sacrifice, and do not forget Cornelius Ryan who so admirably chronicled their valor.

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