D-Day

Today is the 69th anniversary of the D-day invasion. On June 6, 1944, over 160,000 allied troops assaulted the beaches of Normandy. Over 9,000 of those men were killed or wounded during the invasion.

If you can ever make the trip to Normandy, you must. Standing on Omaha beach, facing inland, is terrifying. Looking up at the sheer cliffs of Pointe Du Hoc, knowing that Rangers conquered them with only ropes and courage is awe inspiring. The American cemetery at Omaha beach is humbling in a way that few other places can be. It is a beautiful monument to free men who risked everything for the liberty of strangers. It is holy ground.

normandy

There is a possibly spurious quote that is attributed to Colin Powell. I don’t care if he actually said it, or if it is verbatim, it is still true.

“Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.”

The D-Day anniversary stands in stark contrast to another anniversary that took place earlier this week, the Tiananmen Square atrocities. In one case, the might of a nation committed itself to freedom; in the other, tyranny.

I ask again, what are you doing with your freedoms?

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2 Responses to “D-Day”

  1. It is humbling. Colin powell quote is right on.

    • The Colin Powell quote is not at all exact. He got a question from the former Archbishop of Canterbury regarding the American use of hard power as opposed to soft power. He provided a very lengthy response, part of which is what got transposed into the quote I used. Here is part of the transcript.

      “I mean, it was not soft power that freed Europe. It was hard power. And what followed immediately after hard power? Did the United States ask for dominion over a single nation in Europe? No. Soft power came in the Marshall Plan. Soft power came with American GIs who put their weapons down once the war was over and helped all those nations rebuild. We did the same thing in Japan.
      So our record of living our values and letting our values be an inspiration to others I think is clear. And I don’t think I have anything to be ashamed of or apologize for with respect to what America has done for the world. [Applause.] We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home to seek our own, you know, to seek our own lives in peace, to live our own lives in peace. But there comes a time when soft power or talking with evil will not work where, unfortunately, hard power is the only thing that works.”

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