Today marks the 72nd anniversary of the D-Day landing on the beaches of Normandy, France. It was a well-orchestrated military offensive designed to be a turning point in bringing an end to World War II.
Anyone who has seen the movie Saving Private Ryan understands the bravery and sacrifice our military members displayed that day. For the first wave of soldiers, death was almost certain as they dodged machine gunners entrenched in an elevated position.
It was a joint operation involving 156,000 United States, British, Canadian and French troops. What made D-Day so exceptional is that many of those men storming the beach that morning were teenagers and 20-somethings far from home.
I am sure there were 156,000 other places they would have rather been when the sun came up that day. But, they were united in a common mission and committed to a higher cause — rescuing the world from a very oppressive regime.
Today, rather than dodging bullets and hand grenades, some teenagers and early 20-somethings are storming their colleges’ chancellors offices demanding safe zones from hurtful words and opinions to which they disagree.
I, for one, am very grateful for the commitment made by those truly brave people who eventually liberated the world and came home to continue serving America as our country’s “greatest generation” of business owners, workers, parents, public servants and citizens.
D-Day took place 16 years before I was born. Had its participants failed in their mission, the world — and certainly our nation — would be a much darker place today.
May we pause today to reflect on their sacrifice and to remember the America that was and why it has been the greatest nation on earth.