Seventy-two years have passed since the pride of the Allies, 156,000 strong, stepped out of landing craft and jumped out of airplanes into the mouth of a monster ready to eat them alive.
Seventy-two years have passed since young men from America, England, and Canada (and we must not forget Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland) landed on beaches called Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
Seventy-two years ago, long before the fancy rock-climbing walls which are so popular in today’s health clubs and gyms, the 2nd Ranger battalion “led the way” up the 100 ft. cliffs of Pointe du Hoc.
Seventy-two years ago, on the 6th of June, 2,499 American and 1,914 from the other Allied nations, a total of 4,413, gave their lives for the sake of freedom.
Seventy-two years ago men were stepping on the backs of their comrades as they sloshed through red water, breathed in the mist of war, and wondered if they would live to see the ground only yards (meters) in front of them.
On June 6, 1944, seventy-two years ago, it was said of those who landed:
“They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate.” — President Franklin D. Roosevelt, radio broadcast, June 6, 1944
Seventy-two years later, would we do it again?
It is June 6, but are we a people with the stomach to liberate? If we were the ones living seventy-two years ago, where would we be today?
God help us.