November 11th, 2013 | By admin
By Paul Holland
Last night on the way home, I told the girls about the invasion of Normandy. June 6, 1944. Operation Overlord. Pointe du Hoc is the highest cliff between Omaha Beach and Utah Beach. Two-hundred twenty-five rangers climbed those cliffs. Two days later, only 90 could still fight. Many men gave their lives during that invasion but it was a successful effort in the overall war to stop terrorism in the form of fascism and Nazism.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan commemorated that invasion with a speech at Pointe du Hoc. Here is a few paragraphs from that speech:
“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.
“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.
“…Something else helped the men of D-day: their rockhard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we’re about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.”
More than the words of President Reagan, the example of those courageous men is inspiring. Americans have not always done the right thing. But generally, our country has tried to do the noble deed. We were founded to be a free country, united by ideals, not enslaved by aristocrats. We have shed blood, not to conquer new lands but to free new people.
Our country believes that freedom is a gift given by God, not by the government. We believe every man, woman, and child should have the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness. Whether Caucasian, Black, Arabic, or Chinese – all men are created equal. In Korea, Japan, Germany, Vietnam, Beirut, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, our men and women have fought, many of died, to give and to preserve our freedom to worship freely and evangelize openly, to practice our religion unhindered by the state, to criticize our government without fear of reprisal, to assemble with whom we will and where and why.
Thank you, veterans. May we, the free, remember the words of Providence: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth” (Jeremiah 9:23-24).