Seventy-three years ago today the U.S. military landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to begin the liberation of Western Europe from Nazi control during World War II. The liberation of Europe from Nazi control was the beginning of the end for Hitler’s rule.Let’s remember a time when men rallied around an idea that would free all humankind from a tyrant, who intended to eliminate a complete set of people, and terrorize those that stood in his way….
Close your eyes and picture the scene. It is the morning of June 5, 1944 and General Dwight D. Eisenhower gives orders to begin Operation Overlord. This operation would come to be known as the largest amphibious military operation in history. General Eisenhower orders 6000 landing craft, ships and other vessels to transport 176,000 troops to begin its decent on the beaches of Normandy. Throughout the night 822 aircraft along with an additional 13,000 aircraft headed for Normandy where parachutists jumped to their possible deaths. By early morning 18,000 parachutists were already on the ground. The landing was the beginning of what would become one of the most talked about battles in history. By day’s end 155,000 Allied troops would successfully storm the beach, though 2000 lives would be lost at Omaha Beach.
The battle may not have gone as planned the Allies however, by the end of June were able to pose 850,000 men and 150,000 vehicles in Normandy where they began the march across Europe.This story and many others will be told throughout history. Most will never tire of hearing the tale of good winning over evil. This scene along with countless others will be the light we hold in our hearts. It is the sacrifice of men, young and old who gave their life so others would be free from such tyranny.
The story may be 73 years old but the hope is still strong today. It stands the test of time and serves as a reminder to all that the pursuit of happiness comes at a price. The cost of life and limb is a very high price to pay, yet men will continue to sacrifice their precious lives for the idea and hope that all humanity can live together in peace. So today and every day of my life I salute you. I salute all those that sacrifice their time and their life to keep us safe and deliver a message of peace throughout the world. Today I repeat the words that have been sung throughout the ages, “Let Freedom Ring”.