Today, sixty-eight years ago, the beginning of the end of the war against German started. On the early hours of June 6, 1944, allied troop began to parachute into occupied France and a few hours later, the first landing craft went ashore.
The casualties were brutal. 9,000 Americans were killed or wounded that day alone. Perhaps no other community felt D-Day they way that Bedford Virginia felt it. Bedford had a population of 3200 and 19 of her sons made the ultimate sacrifice that day on those bloody beaches of Normandy. No other community suffered such a per capita casualty rate.
In the next eleven months, America would do what we do best. We freed people from tyranny. We liberated France, Holland, Belgium, Luxemburg, Italy, Austria and Germany. Eleven months later, Hitler was dead and the captives of the death camps were freed.
This was America’s finest hour.
That morning, Dwight Eisenhower addressed the troops. He gave one of his most famous speeches on D-Day.
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Sixty-eight years ago, my father was one of the American soldiers anxiously waiting in England. It would be days before he would go to Europe and begin his trek with George Patton’s Third Army that would end in the heart of a defeated Nazi Germany.
Like so many other veterans of World War II, today he is gone. His generation defeated tyranny in World War II, built America into the greatest nation in the world and before they exited public life into retirement, they defeated the Soviet Union in the cold war.
They set the example that we should follow. They left this nation better off than when they became adults. This is something the baby boom generation cannot say.
They were the greatest generation and June 6, 1944 was their finest hour.
Their actions and their sacrifice should never be forgotten.
Being a kid during time, my brother and I collected all the scrape metal and help the family conserve. Home grown gardens.
All kinds of material were scare and did without. Times were tough but did it for the war effort. Still to this day doing all we can to support all.
Unfortunately the next generation to a large extend were the radicals of the 60's, which are again largely responsible for the destruction wrought on America since.
I do not believe that the direct off springs of these heroes were responsible, but it did happen during their (and my) watch.
Mankind is equipped to survive all sort of hardships, but we seem to not be able to cope with prosperity, brings out all the worst aspects in us.
Judson, thank you for remembering and honoring D-Day and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice there for our freedom. Apparently Ovomit is spending the day hitting the beach...in California, on a body board. Obama mouthpiece Google chose not to mention the day at all. Scum.
Well said. I lost my step father last month. He was 94 and went ashore with the 47th AIB.
This will always be remembered.
Never forget John D. Rockefeller (Standard Oil) sold oil to Hitler during the war.
Paid the ultimate price to preserve and defend our Liberty. Like some others I prefer other words than "sacrifice." They went to fight in defense of Liberty. They hoped to fight and live, they knew many would die. They took an Oath to defend our constitution against ALL enemies foreign and domestic.
Sadly the ideology and ideas they defeated ... were repackaged at HOME. Read the Communist Manifesto, read the goals of communists, marxists, and socialists. SEE how many of their goals have become the goals of our governments [federal and State]. SEE how many of their goals are achieved or gaining momentum in our republic.
We MUST continue to FIGHT and DEFEAT those same ideologies and ideas here at Home that they fought in Europe, and others fought globally during WWII.
These battles will continue UNTIL Jesus returns and establishes His Reign ending in His defeat of ALL enemies and evil itself. We must clearly understand the "war" we are in and each battle being fought.
Here is another way to look at the word "Sacrifice", and you may see it as very appropriate and may be the best word to honor such warriors. Remember Jesus on the Cross and his Sacrifice for all. (Read Hebrews 10 -- I think?)
Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the cross --- It is love "to the end" that confers on Christ's sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered his life. (CCC 616) Reread but consider it as an editorial on the D-Day warriors.
It is love "to the end" that the D-Day KIA & Veterans emulate Christ's sacrifice. Their love to the end gives their sacrifice its value as redemption and reparation, as atonement and satisfaction --- so that the world, mortally and spiritually damaged by the atrocities of fascism & Nazism, could be renewed and sanctified.
Many believe self-sacrifice is a form of sanctification, a spiritual cleansing or to make holy. Self-sacrifice is a "portal" at which the physical and spiritual realms merge. (Conception of a child is another.)
It is "love to the end" ... --- what happens to the warrior through war? He goes in to his first battle "selfishly" fearing for his own life -- but through the "sanctifying fire of war" he comes out of the war tormented by the fact that he lived or that he was unable to save a buddy -- his "selfishness of self-preservation" has been sanctified into an overwhelming desire for a "selfless, self-sacrifice to save a buddy".
Just a thought.
I think the historic significance of this day, D-Day, is best illustrated by the current president's decision [for the second year in a row] to IGNORE it!
Gee, if only it has been Kenya and not Europe [and the world] that had been freed from Naziism, he might have observed this anniversary.....
Naw, he prefers a dictatorship, by whatever name......
Remember BHos WWII lie?
During the presidential campaign, on June 28, 2008, Obama spoke before a meeting of the NALEO (National Association of Elected and Appointed Officials) in Washington, D.C. There must not have been a teleprompter. Here he is in the fully glory of his ”you know, ah-um” inarticulateness:
“…and you know, we, we’re betraying, erh, what I think is a solemn pact that we make with our veterans. Erh, you know, they, my father served in World War Two, arh, and when he came home, arh, he got the services he needed, arh….”
When he was caught in the lie he had the history books changed to remove all mention of WWII. If it never happened he couldn't have lied about it.
I was just a toddler. Later came to know what they did for us and the world.