|The invasion in overview (credit: BBC)|
Life has a photo display that is well worth looking at in reflection, e.g.:
|A wounded American soldier, in France in 1944, receives Holy Eucharist and Last Rites from a Chaplain|
HT WK, US President Reagan's 40th anniversary speech on the Boys of Point du Hoc (transcript here):
Let me draw out a lesson from Pres Reagan's speech, one that speaks beyond the Cold War era to our own day, nearly thirty years later, as we face yet another globally ambitious totalitarian ideology. IslamISM*:
In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose—to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.Within a decade -- and in the teeth of those who so stridently projected an immoral equivalency (or worse) between totalitarianism and those who, flawed though they were . . . as all people are, stood foursquare as a bulwark against it -- the Cold War, the real World War III, was won. Won, without a major land war in Europe, the Middle East or Asia.
We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.
But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.
It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.
We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.
So also, as we see World War IV unfolding in our day, let us draw on these lessons. Even, as we see Iran (the principal IslamIST power) clearly sprinting towards the finish line of deliverable nuclear weapons.
Let us also therefore remember the sacrifice and the significance. END
F/N: In fact we face a dual challenge (I have often spoken of the two tidal waves challenge), as our civilisation is fast threatening to collapse from within, due to the rise of a cluster of agendas that feed off the sort of willful, blinding, benumbing rebellion against God warned against in Rom 1 and Eph 4:17 - 24. Three dominant forces are radical, evolutionary materialist secular humanism, a rising ultra-/ post- modern neo paganism, and a widely apostate Christian church. (Cf notes in response here.)