D-Day Heroes Weep For America
As inconceivable as it may seem, there are today great numbers of Americans who have never heard of the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. They are ignorant of its historical connection to the events that took place there in the early morning hours of June 6, 1944. Are Americans unaware that there are 9,386 graves in the American Cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer? Are they unaware that each of those graves faces west, looking across the ocean toward the country those men and women loved, served and died for?
Today, D-Day and the solemn resting place of those who sacrificed their all on the beach that day, is marked with indifference by far too many Americans. It is a disgrace that there are American children who have no idea who Dwight D. Eisenhower was – even though they can recite the lyrics of trash music perfectly.
Even more disgraceful are the parents that celebrate the ignorance of said children – choosing instead to validate their offspring’s ignorance by neither setting nor insisting upon academic standards. When I was in school we learned of the generals and the battles surrounding this decisive and momentous day. Our communities celebrated the day; our families discussed it. It was an inherent part of our citizenship, and we were encouraged to be proud.
Speaking anthropomorphically, those buried at Colleville-sur-Mer must weep, as they look westward toward what was once a different America.
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Today, we have a family in the White House that views this day as one for obligatory acknowledgement and a photo-op. But I digress.
One of the most deeply moving experiences of my life was the privilege I had a few years ago to attend a special dinner recognizing the remaining living veterans from that day. The dinner consisted of beef stew, cornbread, canned peaches and coffee – the same meal served the night before the invasion. At the conclusion of the evening, the main speaker and I hugged and shared tears. While he has since passed on – the memory of his sacrifice will be with me forever.[adsanity id=8306 align=alignleft /]The battles and moments such as those that day are part of our citizenship. They are what we are to recount for our future generations. They are our response to those who attempt to cast our military history in a denigrating light.
But today the systemic ignorance and misrepresentation of our true history has contributed to an ever-growing and acceptable lack of historical citizenship. It is appalling that the greatest of generations is passing from this life into the oblivion of our historical memory.
In 1969, Gen. Eisenhower, then the former President Eisenhower – made his first and only return to Colleville-sur-Mer after the war. In a voice thick with emotion he said: “…these men came here – British and our allies, and Americans – to storm these beaches for one purpose only, not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest, but just to preserve freedom. … Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these … but these young boys … were cut off in their prime. … I devoutly hope we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope, and pray, that humanity will have learned. … We must find some way … to gain an eternal peace for this world.” (“Eisenhower: A Soldier’s Life”; Carlo D’Este, p. 705)
Little could he have known that a day would come when the person who now occupies the “office” he once held, would malign our allies, genuflect to potentates, applaud those who curse his predecessors and refuse to call our enemies what they are out of fear of offending them.
Little could he have foreseen the day when schools would recast our historic events and parents would not only support their children’s lack of citizenship, but would defiantly treat same as if it were something to be proud of.
We who remember and honor the sacrifice of those who are first amongst the unselfish acknowledge that the world owes them a debt of gratitude that can never adequately be repaid – even though their sacrifices were not for personal gain.
What we can do is promise to never forget, nor fail to put others in remembrance of, their great sacrifice. We can pledge an unwavering commitment to keep the worship of the true God of heaven – who accompanied them into battle that morning and who stood waiting to welcome the many home to be with Him that day – and the freedom for which they fought – the central values of our nation.
We can pledge to fight ignorance, those who dishonor our God and country and usurpers who would make the freedom for which these men and women sacrificed that morning, 66 years ago, of no effect.
About the Author
Mychal S. Massie is an ordained minister who spent 13 years in full-time Christian Ministry. Today he serves as founder and Chairman of the Racial Policy Center (RPC), a think tank he officially founded in September 2015. RPC advocates for a colorblind society. He was founder and president of the non-profit “In His Name Ministries.” He is the former National Chairman of a conservative Capitol Hill think tank; and a former member of the think tank National Center for Public Policy Research. Read entire bio here