April 18 is Columnist’s Day commemorating the death in 1945 of war correspondent Ernie Pyle who was killed by enemy fire on the island of Ie Shima.
Pyle wrote about the experiences of soldiers and not about battles and military strategy. His description of D-Day is particularly touching.
“It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.”
In 1945 he was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished correspondence and traveled to the Pacific to cover the war against Japan.
President Harry S. Truman said Pyle “told the story of the American fighting man as the American fighting men wanted it told.”