Yesterday was the 75th anniversary of one of the most significant battles in world history. The landing at Normany Beach on June 6th, 1944 is remembered most often as D-Day. Even for those who know very little of World War II and the actual battles that took place, just about everyone knows what D-Day is and for good reason. All things considered, it was the battle that secured the world’s freedom, at least from Nazism.
And in remembrance of this day, President Trump delivered what is perhaps one of his best speeches as President. So good, in fact, that even CNN’s Jim Acosta and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinksi praised it.
“This is perhaps the most on-message moment of Donald Trump’s presidency today. We were all wondering if he would veer from his remarks, go off of his script but he stayed on script, stayed on message and, I think, rose to the moment as he was talking about the men gathered behind them he described them as being among the greatest Americans who have ever lived. That could not be more of a fact check true if we could have found one,” remarked Acosta.
He continued: “It was really one of those moments that Donald Trump needed to rise to in order to, I think, walk away from the cemetery, walk away from this hallowed ground and have people back at home saying, ‘You know what, no matter what I think about the current President of the United States, he said the right thing at Normandy. He did the right thing at Normandy.’ He really hit all of the right moments, I think moments, in that speech when he was paying respect to these heroes who were still with us.”
Mika remarked of Trump’s speech: “Trump’s speech… was very good, and measured up to the moment. It really was a true salute to the unity of this day. He spoke about not only the sacrifices that were made, but our allies and the importance of unity. It was a really good speech.”
Scarborough replied: “It did measure up to the moment, as you said. It seems that Ronald Reagan… really set the stage for these commemorations… Other presidents did not fare quite as well. Bill Clinton and George W. Bush come to mind. But Willy, the President, President Trump had several high moments. Of course, we’ll all be talking about the men that he spoke of. But there will be headlines from this speech. And certainly across Europe at least, among our allies, they will be positive headlines. The President again talking about British resolve and French valor, talking about the fighting Poles, talking about the intrepid Aussies, but also talking about an alliance that was forged in War, strengthened in peace, and was unbreakable today.”
He continued: “And there was one especially beautiful moment, and I loved the thought because any World War II documentary you see… they will tear up and they will say the heroes are the ones that never came back. Well, President Trump said that that’s what these heroes were saying. The heroes were the ones buried here. And yet, he went on to talk about the remarkable life that was created by this generation.”
There were also others like David Ignatius of The Washington Post who remarked that Trump “hit pretty much every note right.”
Now, while I won’t write word for word what Trump said in his roughly 5-minute speech, I will highlight some parts that I think were quite special.
First, and perhaps most importantly, he noted that the men who lost their lives, who shed their blood, did so “for their brothers, for their countries, and for the survival of liberty.”
In the moment, no one knows how significant something is. The storming of the beaches of Normandy was a massive pivotal moment in the war, planned for months by the top brass of many nations in the Allied forces, and executed with a decisive victory for the Allies. While many young men died in battle, their sacrifice helped ultimately rid the world of one of the world’s most evil empires. No one, except God, knew what would happen in the moment and what would come of it. But Trump is right in saying that this battle was one for the survival of liberty. Civilization itself was won there.
Next, Trump mentioned our allies during the war and the work our countries put in to ensure freedom:
“There were the British, whose nobility and fortitude saw them through the worst of Dunkirk and the London Blitz. The full violence of Nazi fury was no match for the full grandeur of British pride… There were the Canadians, whose robust sense of honor and loyalty compelled them to take up arms alongside Britain from the very, very beginning. There were the fighting Poles, the tough Norwegians, and the intrepid Aussies. There were the gallant French commandos, soon to be met by thousands of their brave countrymen ready to write a new chapter in the long history of French valor. And, finally, there were the Americans. They came from the farms of a vast heartland, the streets of glowing cities, and the forges of mighty industrial towns. Before the war, many had never ventured beyond their own community. Now they had come to offer their lives half a world from home.”
One of the points that even Joe Scarborough liked, Trump made sure to remember that what Normandy was was a battle between good and evil, a battle that saw countries who have had long histories of animosity towards one another (France and Britain being prime examples, the U.S. and Britain, etc.) forget the past so that they could ensure the world’s future. Their sacrifice ought to remind us what good we can do for the world.
Then, Trump made sure to remember the multitude of men who sacrificed their very lives to ensure Allied victory, going through the numerous battalions, regiments, and armed forces, remembering the words of soldiers who saw victory as the one and only priority, with Colonel George Taylor, of the 16th Infantry Regiment (a regiment that was part of the first wave) remarking when asked what would happen if the Germans stopped them right there: “Why, the 18th Infantry is coming in right behind us. The 26th Infantry will come on too. Then there is the 2nd Infantry Division already afloat. And the 9th Division. And the 2nd Armored. And the 3rd Armored. And all the rest. Maybe the 16th won’t make it, but someone will.”
What was important right then and there is not their survival, people’s most primal instinct, but victory for their countries. If the 16th Infantry Regiment didn’t succeed, someone else would, and would have to. That is how important this day was 75 years ago: failure was not an option.
Trump then went on to tell multiple stories of different soldiers and even of a farm wife who lived near to the beaches of Normandy, scared to death of the battle happening nearby and crying tears of joy when a soldier went into her house and said to her: “I’m an American. I’m here to help.”
Trump then said something that nearly brought me to tears (which would’ve been manly tears, I assure you):
“From across the Earth, Americans are drawn to this place as though it were a part of our very soul. We come not only because of what they did here. We come because of who they were. They were young men with their entire lives before them. They were husbands who said goodbye to their young brides and took their duty as their fate. They were fathers who would never meet their infant sons and daughters because they had a job to do. And with God as their witness, they were going to get it done. They came wave after wave, without question, without hesitation, without complaint. More powerful than the strength of American arms was the strength of American hearts. These men ran through the fires of hell moved by a force no weapon could destroy: the fierce patriotism of a free, proud, and sovereign people. They battled not for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy, and self-rule. They pressed on for love in home and country – the Main Streets, the schoolyards, the churches and neighbors, the families and communities that gave us men such as these. They were sustained by the confidence that America can do anything because we are a noble nation with a virtuous people, praying to a righteous God.”
The average age of a soldier during World War II was 26. I will be that age in less than three years and could not picture myself being in a land I had never seen before, fighting a terrifying enemy, being 99% certain that I was living my last day on Earth. The human mind cannot remain sane living with the thought and knowledge that it was about to die. We are not wired to think so much of our own mortalities and being faced with them so aggressively.
That is why this battle is so incredible. Bravery is not the absence of fear; it’s taking action despite fear. I have no doubt that most, if not all, of the soldiers there were afraid. But they made sure to put that fear aside to get the job done. Again, their survival was not their priority. For humans and animals alike, survival is the number one priority always. But not here. Victory came before survival. If they were going to forego their own lives, they were going to do so fighting for one of the best fights you can get involved with: liberty.
That generation is considered the greatest generation and for a very good reason. What we are today is a result of what they did back then. We owe a great debt to that generation that we simply could not repay if we tried.
Now if only the Left wasn’t actively trying to undo the sacrifices so many of the best Americans have made.
“Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”
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