“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force. You are about to embark upon the great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you.”
— General Dwight D. Eisenhower
It’s something I tell my kids to consider each time they’re stuck in traffic, behind a very elderly gentleman, who might be driving annoyingly slow. Before you feel the urge to wave your arms and lay on your horn, consider that the gentleman causing you some minor inconvenience might deserve a lot of the credit for everything you hold so dear.
Seventy years ago today, he might have been an 18-year-old kid, seasick and terrified as he waited for the gate to drop on his landing craft. He might just be a member of the Greatest Generation, young men who charged onto a Normandy Beach, and fought for freedom’s foothold while watching their buddies die all around them.
He may have not only courageously fought to save the free world, but then come back home to help build the United States of America into the greatest republic on Earth.
Today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, arguably the most-important date in the history of the Free World. It was the beginning of the end for tyranny in Europe, and today should be a moment of reflection on the immense sacrifices that took place on blood-stained beaches called Omaha and Utah.
I heard somewhere that 20,000 World War II veterans are now dying each day as the years cause the inevitable. But it’s not too late to still thank them for your freedom.
To the still surviving “Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force,” thank you for what you did to give my family and I the opportunity to live without fear, to live free, and be able to follow our dreams. And to those who made the ultimate sacrifice, you’ll always be in our prayers.