Skip to main content

D-Day 2014

Seventy years ago, tens of thousands of men stood in ships and crashed ashore on the Normandy Peninsula in France. At the time it wasn’t really France. It was part of the conquered territory of Nazi Germany. The plan was simple: boat over from England and take Europe back from the Nazis. Do so well enough that the Russians would not take all of Germany and most of France and turn it Communist.

Simple, right? Except that the English Channel had been an effective barrier against invasion in either direction for nearly 1,000 years. Even English invasions of France had gone into neutral or friendly ports, rather than being opposed landings. The last time, that I can find, any large force crossed the Channel successfully was when William the Conqueror did so in 1066. And keep in mind that he faced an England that had just exhaustingly repelled the Vikings for the last time, so they were worn out, and far out of position. (Just—as in the same year!)

Tackling the invasion of Hitler’s Europe was not a simple task, then, after all. The weight of history was against it. The weight of logic was against it.

Only the weight of heroism bred of necessity was for it.

Seventy years ago we saw the strength of audacity and necessity applied against evil. It should remind us of a few things.

First, that liberty is not guaranteed unless there are those who guarantee it with their lives.

Second, that liberty lost costs a great deal to regain.

Third, that we are heirs to a strong heritage, passed on from many generations before. Yes, those generations also made mistakes, but a world dominated by Hitler and Nazis never ends segregation. It never corrects Civil Rights issues.

So before we condemn the prior generations for the blindspots they had, let us remember the things they saw clearly. They saw:

Underwater obstacles. A large seawall. Pointe du Hoc. Machine guns, anti-aircraft guns, scattered landings, tidal drifts…

And they saw the way forward into it. Not around it, not away from it. But straight into it.

May I have the courage to go straight ahead when the need requires it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Book Review: The Heart Mender by @andyandrews (Andy Andrews)

The Heart Mender: A Story of Second ChancesEver read a book that you just kind of wish is true?  That's my take on The Heart Mender by Andy Andrews.  It's a charming story of love and forgiveness, and it's woven into the historical setting of World War II America.  For the narrative alone, the book is worth the read, but the message it contains is well worth absorbing as well.However, let's drop back a minute.  This book was originally published under the title Island of Saints.  I read Island of Saints and enjoyed it greatly.  Now, Andrews has released it under a new title, with a few minor changes.  All of this is explained in the Author's Note at the beginning, but should be noted for purchaser's sake.  If you read Island of Saints, you're rereading when you read The Heart Mender.  Now, go ahead and reread it.  It will not hurt you one bit.Overall, the story is well-paced.  There are points where I'd like more detail, both in the history and the geog…

Abraham Lincoln Quoted by Jesus! Mark 3

Mark records a curious event in his third chapter (link). If you look at Mark 3:25, you'll see that Jesus quotes the sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. After all, one of the highlights of the Lincoln years is his famous speech regarding slavery in the United States where he used the phrase that "a house divided against itself cannot stand." This speech was given in 1858 when he accepted the nomination to run against Stephen A. Douglas for Senate, but is still remembered as the defining speech regarding slaveholding in the United States. I recall being taught in school how brilliant and groundbreaking the speech was, how Lincoln had used such wise words to convey his thought. Yet the idea was not original to Lincoln. Rather, it was embedded in Lincoln from his time reading the Bible. Now, I have read varying reports about Lincoln's personal religious beliefs: some place him as a nearly completely committed Christian while others have him somewh…

Book: Vindicating the Vixens

Well, if Vindicating the Vixens doesn’t catch your attention as a book title, I’m not sure what would. This volume, edited by Sandra L. Glahn (PhD), provides a look at some of the women of the Bible who are “Sexualized, Vilified, and Marginalized.” As is frequently the case, I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for my review.Let’s take this a stage at a time. First stage: book setup. This is primarily an academic Biblical Studies book. Be prepared to see discussions of Greek and Hebrew words, as appropriate. You’ll also need a handle on the general flow of Biblical narrative, a willingness to look around at history, and the other tools of someone who is truly studying the text. This is no one-day read. It’s a serious study of women in the Bible, specifically those who either faced sexual violence or who have been considered sexually ‘wrong’ across years of study.A quick note: this book is timely, not opportunistic. The length of time to plan, assign, develop, and publish a multi…