“Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world,” these were the words that General Eisenhower said to the American troops before one of the greatest battles of all time, D-Day. Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day. On June 6, 1944, according to army.mil 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft were involved in the invasion. By the end of the invasion, the Allies had succeeded in taking the Normandy coast but over 9,000 allied troops sprawled dead on the beaches of Normandy.
Reagan once said, ““Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”The men who fought in World War II were called the Greatest Generation. After taking the beaches of Normandy, the Allied troops were able to march across Europe and ultimately defeat Hitler. They were able to bring about the destruction of the German war machine and were able to help Americans sleep softly in their beds knowing that their military had helped to secure a more free world. But Reagan was right, freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. Since the greatest generation, our troops have marched off to protect that freedom. From the Vietnam War, to the Forgotten War, to the War on Terrorism, our troops have to continually fight to keep the American people in a free world. Let us take this D-Day to remember the greatest generation. The feat that they accomplished, the beaches that they stormed for us, and the example that they have set for future American troops that are fighting the enemy and securing freedom. They were the greatest example. Let us never forget. “Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory! I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory! Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.” – General Dwight D. Eisenhower. Written by Haley Jones, Sarah T. Hermann Intern Scholar and student at College of the Ozarks