Saturday, June 6, 2009

June 6, 1944

I had hoped to get this up earlier. 

There is so much that I want to say, but my subject is so vast, that I can really only say a few words.

Sixty five years ago today, the world was saved. 

Nearly 160,000 Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, in the greatest invasion in history. On June 6, 1944, the liberation of Nazi controlled Europe began. This day the tide was turned, the victory of democracy and freedom, over the evils of totalitarianism was set in motion. The dawn of liberty was breaking over the dark and horrifying landscape of death and destruction. 

Names that ring out to us years later: Omaha. Utah. Sword. Juno. Overlord.

Ideals won out over ideaology.

The majority of troops were American, and every major battle in American history was a preparation for this day. 

Because of Bunker hill, because of Valley Forge, because of Gettysburg and Shiloh and Antietam, because of San Juan Hill and the hellish trenches of No Man's Land -- because of men like Washington and Lincoln and Pershing -- there was an American Army that day, an army of citizen soldiers -- and a tradition of fighting for ideals. 

For what they knew was right. 

And that day they did fight, alongside the ever stoic, ever valiant British and Canadians. 

4414 of them died.

But they advanced, in to the mouth of Hell, and they took back France. 

They took back the Netherlands.

They liberated the death camps.

They took back all that Hitler had stolen.

They saved the world that day.

Thank God for June 6, 1944.

What follows are the orders for Operation Overlord, from General Dwight D. Eisenhower, to all allied troops participating in the invasion of Normandy. 

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 defeat 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, devotion to duty, and skill in battle. 

We will accept nothing less than full victory. 

Good luck, and let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.


The Rambler said...

Thank you so much for sharing this!!

Kat said...

This is absolutely beautiful. Thank you so much for this post. We need the reminders.

Jill @ Sneaky Momma said...

Beautiful post, Chris. For so many, this day is a blip on the radar. We remember it, too.

kayerj said...

amen . . . and your header photo, WOW!

Izzy, Emmy 'N Alexander said...

Very well said! A beautiful piece of writing.

lucy said...

Thank you. We need to remember the past so as not to repeat it in the future. Unfortunately I am afraid there are few of us who continue to do so.

Melissa said...

Very nice post.... You know what happened on June 6, 1952....? My wonderful mother was born...the woman who gave me life and made me who I am today.... the woman who I lost 4 years ago to that nasty, nasty disease called cancer....
sorry, did n't mean to be a downer....

Carebear said...

I have no words. thank you for the reminder. I'm humbled and grateful for these men.