#DDAY70: We Remember D-Day
#DDAY70: We Remember D-Day
Today, on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, we stand in awe of The Greatest Generation who, because of their courage and sacrifice, literally saved the world. Their efforts both in war, and later in peacetime, made America the strongest and most prosperous nation in the history of mankind. We owe all that we enjoy today, to them.
Most importantly, we thank them for our freedom.
As a lifelong learner and lover of history, the D-Day operations are one of my favorite ‘great and mighty’ stories in history. We were the liberators. It has been our role in the world for over a hundred years. Twice in the 20th century, Americans spilled their blood on French soil to combat tyranny. And as a conservative, it would come as no surprise to you that the following is one of my favorite speeches:
There’s a real difference between someone who can deliver a speech and someone who feels the speech he delivers, isn’t there? Even though it’s become a conservative standard, I hope you take the time to listen to this video and read the transcript. It’s a timeless message for all of us about the principles of liberty and the need to protect them. It makes me bawl like a baby every time I hear it because I see it all happening in my mind’s eye.
The excerpts, from Reagan’s 1984 speech…
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, two hundred and twenty-five Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs.
Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here, and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.
The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only ninety could still bear arms.
And behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. And these are the heroes who helped end a war.
D-Day began shortly after midnight which would have been mid-day here in the states. Tight restrictions on the news media delayed an official announcement, but news had begun to leak out. Just before 11 p.m. Pacific Time on the evening of the 5th, Calais Radio announced: “This is D-Day.”
“The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought — or felt in their hearts, though they couldn’t know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.”
In all our years as a nation, we have embraced the fight for freedom, usually spilling blood and treasure for others in the process. The story of D-Day and the Normandy Invasion is special to us. It always will be. We hold those who rest there dear; sacred. The cost of freedom is high and it’s legacy, amazing.