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Davis Journal

Remembering D-Day even as we cast our ballots

Jun 09, 2022 10:27AM ● By The Andersons

This week we observed the 78th anniversary of D-Day. Throughout our lives, we find that how we observe that day has changed. When we were younger, we pictured ourselves going ashore. Now, however, we picture ourselves as the parents receiving the (most likely tragic) news.

So many were just boys. So many died.

As a parent, it’s heartbreaking to imagine. Did their pride for their son’s (sons’) sacrifice ever eclipse their grief? Probably not. Did it assuage the grief? Maybe occasionally. But a hole was left, never to be filled.

On the day of the invasion, there were 4,413 Allied deaths. That number would grow to approximately 55,000 before the Battle of Normandy ended. Total casualties eclipsed 209,000. It’s an incomprehensible number.

So many holes.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower authored a letter to the service men prior to their mission. He told them that they were “to embark upon the Great Crusade...the eyes of the world are upon you. The hope and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”

He went on to say, “your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.”

He ended by saying, “Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”

Have you ever imagined what the service men thought and felt as they read that letter the evening before the invasion? Or as they embarked upon their mission that day? Too often, I don’t think we think about it much at all. I think we’d honor them very differently if we did.

We complain so much and so often about things of little importance. We are so blessed, but choose to dwell on trivial disputes and inconveniences.

Shame on us.

It reminds me of the lyrics of a song: “Are you giving the least to those who matter most, or are you sharing your best with those who really aren’t that close?”

Perspective. Priorities. Where are yours? What are yours?

In the event of failure, General Eisenhower drafted a second letter - one that was much shorter. The letter stated that the effort had failed, and that he had withdrawn the troops. He ended it by saying “If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

The course of history was altered that day.

This week, primary ballots were delivered in our mailboxes. Always remember that the pen is as mighty or mightier than the sword. With every election, we have the power to alter history. So many have died to give us that right. We implore you to vote, and to cast your vote for honest and wise candidates. Honor those who fought to preserve liberty. λ