They came from all across America. Young and the not-so-young, employed, unemployed. Boys from farms, small towns, big cities. Rich and poor. D-Day knew no demographics, we were all in it together. Hitler, and everything that he stood for, had to be defeated, as he was a threat to mankind’s morality and the civilized world as we knew it.
They gave their lives for the love of their country, and the faith that they held that their sacrifice would make America and the world a better place. What our soldiers suffered that day of infamy in 1944 was best remembered and told in this essay, first published in The Atlantic in 1960, by S.L.A. Marshall, a combat historian who recorded history on D-Day, June 6, 1944. If you want to honor those who fought so many years ago for our freedoms today, the essay is worth reading and remembering. (h/t Scott Johnson, Power Line)
As President Ronald Reagan said in his commemorative speech at Pointe du Hoc, on the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion:
You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.
And now we fast forward to the America of 2013, 69 years after D-Day and today’s headlines: “Government is Tracking Verizon Customers’ Records“; “NSA collecting phone records of millions of Verizon customers daily“; “IRS employees: Washington IRS official Carter Hull oversaw targeting of conservative groups“; “A Middle East Tinderbox – without authoritative US action, a regional war will likely erupt over Syria.”
The irony of it all is rather striking, isn’t it? If those men had been given the gift of precognition, would they have still charged up those Normandy beaches, stormed up the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc?. I rather think, yes. The grit, determination, and faith held by those American boys of 1944 are what so many of us still have inside us, although for many it lies dormant, or for some it has trembled or been castigated into silence.
I’d like to believe that these years since January 20, 2009, have been but a blip, albeit a painful one, in our country’s history, and that sooner, rather than later, as all the spying, taxing, targeting, finally sinks into the psyches of enough Americans, we’ll take it upon ourselves to retake our country and government and enjoy what Lincoln once heralded as, “a new birth of freedom,” so that these “honored dead shall not have died in vain.”