Elmo Cook knew nothing about it.
He’d heard the sirens in the middle of the night alerting all of Abilene that something had happened, but when he tried to turn on the radio, he found that his power was out. And when he left for work in the morning, the paperboy had not yet made his rounds.
As a result, Cook was one of the last people in town to hear about D-Day.
The anecdote is from the Abilene Reporter-News for June 7, 1944, and it offers a visceral illustration of how the nation has changed in the now-75 years since American and other Allied forces stormed beaches in the Normandy region of France. Indeed, from the vantage point of 2019, the idea that one might not know that a fleet of over 6,000 vessels had ferried over 150,000 men to an enemy shore where they charged into machine gun fire sounds, to put it mildly, ridiculous.