June 6, 1944–the day on which approx. 160,000 Allied Troops landed on the shores of Normandy, France in a relentless effort to push Hitler and his troops out of France, and to take back Europe, standing against Fascism and tyranny.
At least 9,000 men lost their lives in the battle…in that battle alone. However, the Allies kept coming…wave after wave, they refused to give up. General Dwight Eisenhower reminded them that “Th eyes of the world were upon them”, and that they were part of a “Great crusade” for freedom and liberty.
Those men (18-22 years old) knew, when they jumped out of their Amphibious Assault Vehicles, that they may not make it. First, there were the 8 foot waves with 80 pounds of gear on their backs…then there was the relentless machine-gun-fire, then the mines, the obstacles…then the cliffs!
Yet, they kept coming.
Why not just turn around, go back home, and try to get comfortable in their lives again?
Why? Because liberty and freedom were under assualt! If the Nazis weren’t stopped there, they would never stop–after all, they believed they were the ‘chosen race’, and they wanted to wipe everyone else off the face of the earth (or at least to rule over them).
Could we do this today? Would we?
In today’s culture, where instant media brings us graphic visions, do we have the stomach for war? Do we have the iron will that those men did–not only to speak out, not only to stand up, but to put their lives on the line–to stop evil?
There is still evil in the world, and all it takes is one person or one group with a big weapon who believes that they have the right to exterminate or dominate others to start something.
If that happens, will WE stand up? Will THIS generation rise to the occasion?
Today, President Obama declared June 6 a national remembrance day.
In a declaration Friday, he said, “Seventy years later, we pay tribute to the service members who secured a beachhead on an unforgiving shore — the patriots who, through their courage and sacrifice, changed the course of an entire century. Today, as we carry on the struggle for liberty and universal human rights, let us draw strength from a moment when free nations beat back the forces of oppression and gave new hope to the world.”
I hope we still believe them.