Today marks the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, a day in which the United States led an allied invasion force to what was undoubtedly the most meaningful victory for freedom and liberation in history. Our troops brought a shining light of hope to an extremely dark time in world history. The men who stormed the beaches seventy years ago knew that either on that day, or in the days to come, they may have to give their lives so others could live free.
The sacrifices our American troops made, battling on beaches codenamed Omaha and Utah, can never be forgotten. You cannot forget the airmen who for months softened up Northern France in preparation for the landings on D-Day. It is easy to say seventy years later that it was inevitable the allied forces would succeed. However, at the time, the question of whether or not we would succeed was in doubt. If our forces failed, the idea of individual freedom and representative government would still be an unheard-of phenomenon for much of the world. Those men who stormed the beaches did not know if they were going to succeed, but they knew full well that it needed to be done.
Thirty years ago today, President Ronald Reagan drove home the point in one of the most revered speeches of his presidency. He chose to speak at Pointe-du-Hoc, a place where Army Rangers scaled a 100 meter cliff in order to knock out heavy artillery which was raining down a wall of fire on Utah and Omaha beaches. During President Reagan’s speech, he delivered a quote, which encompasses the magnitude of what our allied troops accomplished on June 6, 1944:
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.
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