Normandy at 71: ‘Where Did We Get Such Men (and Women)?’

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Public domain

“Why is America lucky enough to have such men? They leave this tiny ship and fly against the enemy.  Then they must seek the ship, lost somewhere on the sea.  And when they find it, they have to land upon its pitching deck.  Where did we get such men?”

– RAdm. George Tarrant, The Bridges at Toko Ri

Written to detail the heroism of U.S. Navy fliers during the Korean War, James Michener’s The Bridges At Toko-Ri and the admiral’s last lines aptly describe those who serve(d) both before and after Korea. Like D-Day veterans.

June 06, 2015 marks the 71st anniversary of D-Day and the Allied invasion of German-occupied western Europe during World War II.

Rather than tuning in to Mr. Empty Suit on this solemn anniversary, how ‘bout listening to someone who loved freedom and knew how to honor those who protect and defend it? A Real American president. One who represented and led his country with pride, dignity, and class. Like President Ronald Reagan.

Here is President Reagan’s 1984 Address at the Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion at Point-du-Hoc:

“Here in Normandy, the rescue began.”

– Ronald Reagan, 06 June 1984

The faith and belief, loyalty and love Reagan notes in this speech didn’t die with him. You may have to look a little harder for them now, but they’re alive and well in today’s U.S. military and in the families and friends who support those who serve. In those who remember and honor our veterans. Like those who stormed the beaches of Normandy in 1944.

Where do we get such men and women?  From Iowa farms and Texas ranches.  From New England fishing fleets to Silicon Valley board rooms. From Wall Street to Bourbon Street. From Kentucky blue grass to Florida’s Everglades. From Arizona deserts to Hawaiian rain forests.

We get them from America.

No, Mr. Michener. America isn’t “lucky” to have such men and women. We are blessed.

Semper Fi.

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