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June 6th… it’s a day that to many is no different from any other. In many ways it’s a day that should be more sacred than so many on our calendar. I can’t help but get emotional thinking about D-Day June 6, 1944. The beginning of the Allied invasion of Europe and the liberation of France as well as the turn of the tide in the course of history. Hitler’s Germany had steamrolled Europe, the “Atlantic Wall” was seemingly impenetrable and England and been suffering the repeated bombings from the Luftwaffe…. The sheer scope and scale of that day in Normandy is unimaginable and as I watched specials and retellings of the day on the History channel here I can’t help but get emotional at the amazing feat that those men achieved and the horrible “what if it had failed”… unimaginable as well.
Had D-Day failed where would the twentieth century have run, what depths of evil would we have seen? Would there have been a will to try again and again until the Atlantic Wall was finally breached? Would that failure have cemented and paved the way for further German advancements (and atrocities). How different would our world look if it were not for those brave souls that ran headlong into hell on earth. It’s remarkable even miraculous that the operation succeeded and unthinkable that we could live with a world where it failed.
Several days ago I saw a bumper sticker that said “war sucks, why fight it?” While it’s a trite little quote and I’m sure it’s a popular thought, the person that has affixed that to their car is in desperate need of a history lesson. No one in their right mind likes war. It is merciless, does not discriminate victims, the innocent and the guilty can suffer in disproportionate ways with the innocent and blameless usually seeing the worst effects while the guilty perpetrators live the high life. I worry for our future though when there are many people that don’t realize that sometimes there are times that a free society HAS to stand up and fight because as terrible as war is, the consequences of NOT fighting are unimaginable. The fight against Germany in World War II was that kind of fight, the consequences of failure to stop them were unthinkable.
Today we are fighting extremism of a different kind, but it is the kind that has far reaching goals. Religious extremism from what some people term islamic fascists has among it’s goals the restructuring of our world order where their vision of Islam rules and those that don’t follow their religious path are killed or subservient to their worldview. Do you remember in the 1990′s the Talibans rule of Afghanistan? Now, imagine a world governed by those rules. Unthinkable. Now, I know that all Muslims do not think as the extremists do. Our war is not against a religion, but against fanatics that have used this religion to further their own power in an attempt to mold the world into their dim and narrow view of how things should be. Our war is against those that would direct teenagers and younger to blow themselves up at checkpoints and shopping centers, pizza places and dance clubs.
The extremists terrorists of today do not count on the vast armies and weapons stores that Germany in 1944 did and perhaps that’s why it’s so easy to be indifferent. It’s certainly easy to fear the power of a giant with a large build and towering muscles, todays jihadist’s certainly don’t appear to be sweeping over parts of the world as German armies did in the 30s and 40s. My concern though is that indifference will lead to their opportunity and the world may in the not so distant future again face the unimaginable. We may yet again face a world wide war against those that wish to impose their will upon ALL free nations. Would we today be able to rise up and face that?
The years after World War II, there was a mantra of never letting such a thing happen again and while certainly there have been wars, there have not been any on the scope and destruction of the Second World War. May we pray that we never again see such a spilling of blood, but may we also pray that we be prepared to make the same sacrifices in the cause of liberty and freedom for future generations if our fates demand it. The consequences of losing our freedoms and liberties are truly unimaginable.
I would like to express the greatest and deepest thanks to all of those that, over the many years have risen to the task to save our society, as vapid, self absorbed and narcissistic as we many times are. I notice today that Google which many times changes their logo on their search engine to commemorate a memorable day, today is commemorating the 25th anniversary of the game Tetris…. The fact that we have the freedoms to be so trivial as well as to reach such great heights as we have in the 65 years since D-Day would be impossible to imagine without great sacrifices such as those in Normandy 65 years ago today. I suppose in many ways it’s fitting that it is just another day to so many people. That is, I suspect, EXACTLY what those people were fighting for, so that life would be about a picnic, or working in the garden, reading a book, going to work or simply playing a game. Really, they fought that day, as strange as it sounds, so that we, today, could have peace.
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