The day the West freed itself from tyranny

posted at 10:13 am on June 6, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Sixty-five years ago today, the US, Britain, Canada, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and others, sent their best young men to storm the beaches of Normandy and liberate an entire continent from the iron grip of a madman and a cult of death that surrounded him. Over 150,000 of them charged off of the troop carriers; at least 2500 never made it off the beaches, or in some cases, not even onto the beaches. No one actually knows the exact number lost on D-Day, and many of the dead were never found. The official casualty figure, including wounded and missing, exceeds 10,000.

To these heroic men, those who died and those who lived to keep fighting, we owe great thanks for preserving Western civilization when it appeared close to collapse. Without their courage, tyranny would have prevailed, massive genocides would have been commonplace, and the world would have gone to utter ruin.

Usually we celebrate the great leaders when we reflect on World War II, but the anniversary of D-Day is a day to reflect on the heroes who clawed their way onto and off of the beaches in the face of withering fire, overwhelmed a truly evil regime, and set the stage for its destruction.

Update: Ronald Reagan’s 40th anniversary speech at Normandy remains moving:

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btw Ed, thanks for this thread.

itsspideyman on June 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM

What’s ironic is that Hitler thought he was saving Western civilization from decadence & decay by “any means necessary.” The fight for his idea of perfection was just as or even more important than any other Cause on earth.

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:41 AM

But his idea of decadence & decay was anything that wasn’t geman kitchy. Remember he wanted to destroy Paris, St Petersburg, Warsaw, all beautiful cities.

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM

kitchy = kitschy

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM
.
I agree, but he left Paris alone because of its importance to the art world (Hitler thought of himself as an artist first, a politician second). St. Petersburg & Warsaw were to be destroyed because they were built by inferior Slavs and were therefore ugly.

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Sadly, the lessons of WW2 have been lost on this current generation of Obamatards. Thank you marxist academia and media for turning so many minds into so much leftist mush.

However many of us will never forget the sacrifices that preserved our freedoms 65 years ago today. God bless our troops then and now.

infidel4life on June 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

St. Petersburg & Warsaw were to be destroyed because they were built by inferior Slavs and were therefore ugly.

.
after he looted them of all the “approved art, of course.

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:51 AM

itsspideyman on June 6, 2009 at 11:28 AM

My reason for asking is that, if he did go on that trip, or on similar trips, he went through a hell worse than can be described, and got little recognition for it.

OldEnglish on June 6, 2009 at 11:52 AM

I will be offering free drinks on the plane today to anyone who can name all five Normandy beacbes.

Tony737 on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

I agree, but he left Paris alone because of its importance to the art world

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Uh no, Hitler “left Paris alone” because France surrendered long before the Germans got anywhere near it.

ProfessorMiao on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Oh, yes … and also a troll. Buh-bye.

Ed Morrissey on June 6, 2009 at 10:51 AM

Thanks Ed.

And thank you and God Bless to my father who landed on that beach 65 years ago, having dropped out of high school to serve this great country.

And thank you to George W. Bush who saw to it that my father received that high school diploma and Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks for making a great movie that gave my father the courage to start talking about what happened on that historic day.

Now I think I’ll go out and cook my dad a big steak today.

Knucklehead on June 6, 2009 at 11:57 AM

I will be offering free drinks on the plane today to anyone who can name all five Normandy beacbes.

Tony737 on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Why don’t you make it little more challenging and ask them to name the country that led the invading forces at each of them, too?

ProfessorMiao on June 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM

In memory of my uncle, John Sjostrom, KIA at Normandy.

Thank you and God bless you.

Bruno Strozek on June 6, 2009 at 12:03 PM

Oh, I long for a President like Ronald Reagan…
God Bless those in our military who sacrifice for people like me, a free American.

d1carter on June 6, 2009 at 12:05 PM

Let’s see: Juno, Gold, Omaha and Utah.

And I just can’t, off the top of my head, remember the fifth.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 12:11 PM

Sword

dpierson on June 6, 2009 at 12:13 PM

Today I remember my father who was the chaplain with 47 Royal Marine Commando and landed on Gold Beach 65 years ago today. The 420 Royal Marines of the Commando embarked on 14 LCA’s, five of which were sunk on the approach, seven were badly damaged, and two made it to the beach intact. My father was on board one of those two and stepped ashore in Normandy dry. The Commando then marched for 12 miles behind the German lines and on June 7th captured the port of Port-en-Bessin which was where PLUTO (Pipe Line Under The Ocean) came ashore to supply millions of gallons of fuel for the Allies as they pushed inland. During two days of fighting the Commando sustained losses of 48 dead and 70 wounded. My father buried the dead and said funeral services for them. Later in the war he was present at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.

For those uneducated revisionists, tell those men they died for naught, tell the people of France, Holland and Germany that the Americans and British soldiers didn’t really liberate them from tyranny. Tell the survivors of Bergen-Belsen that those weren’t really British and Americans who freed them from their living nightmare. Pfft!

An entertaining note from my father’s D-Day experience. The Royal Marine Commando was supposed to hook up with American forces from Omaha Beach on the night of June 6th and get American artillery support for the attack on Port-en-Bessin. Of course the Americans had their own difficulties breaking out from Omaha and the planned hook up didn’t take place until after the capture of the port. On June 8th two officers from the Commando were sent out on patrol to look for the Americans. One of them was my god father, John Bennet. Hearing an approaching vehicle, Lt. Bennet jumped up screaming “Hande Hoch, Hande Hoch” only to hear a voice shouting “Say, are you British”. “Yes”, he responded, “Are you Americans?” “No”, came the reply, “We’re not Americans, we’re Texans!”. And so the British and American armies hooked up.

God bless you dad and all who you fought alongside. We will never forget what you did.

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 12:16 PM

I will be offering free drinks on the plane today to anyone who can name all five Normandy beacbes.

Tony737 on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

And here’s a hint for those who may not know (cough . . . PM Brown . . . cough): none of them was named “Obama Beach.”

AZCoyote on June 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Does anyone else have their flag out today? I think I am he only one on my street.

My flag is always out.
(It’s al all-weather flag designed for that purpose
and the outside lights make sure it is always lit.)

Today it is at half-mast to honor those
who gave their lives for my Freedom, Liberty, Country,
and the right to wave Our Flag with Love.

As to the troll, his argument sounds familiar.

I had a coworker once who immigrated here from Russia.
He went through all the steps, including learning English,
and would scold Russian janitors who spoke Russian.

He also thought it an insult to say he was a Russian.
He would proudly say, “I am an AMERICAN.
I worked hard LEGALLY to earn that word.”

He once told me about how many Soviets died keeping Hitler busy so that the Allies could attack the other front.

But he also told me that Stalin had his generals
shoot anyone who tried to retreat or fall back,
and only one of every handful of soldiers had guns.

It was Stalin’s tactic to supply a number of guns
equal to the number of estimated survivors so as
not to waste guns on dead bodies left behind.

Unfortunately,
the troll was right about the casualty numbers.

However,
the troll never mentioned how those casualities
were the results of “friendly” fire, incompetence,
and the casual evil of using troops as fodder.

The dead on the Normandy beeches never worried
about their C.O. shooting them in the back,
never once thought they were being used as fodder,
never turned and ran, never thought about defeat.

They just gave their all to defend what they believed in:
Personal Freedom, Indivdual Liberty, Our Belioved Country,
and all who could not defend themselves against tyranny.

IMHO, our soldiers were the definition of heroes.

They HAD a choice.
They CHOSE to defend us with their lives.
They gave up all their tomorrows so we could have today.

Thank you, Brave and Noble Heroes of Valor.
Thank you for my Freedom, Liberty, Country,
and all I hold dear. I will NEVER forget you.

Have to stop now. My monitor is all blurry.

TimLenox on June 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Might I suggest everyone to purchase & watch the HBO series Band of Brothers, which I usually start watching at around 10:00am, and continue through out D-Day weekend. One of the best programs made. It follows the 101st airborn through the war.

God bless our Veterans. They gave ALL.

portlandon on June 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Might I suggest everyone to purchase & watch the HBO series Band of Brothers….

I watched Saving Private Ryan last night and was sitting there at 12:30 a.m. with tears running fown my cheeks.

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Full text of Reagan’s Remarks at a United States-France Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-day, June 6, 1984

Lisa Zanatta Henn began her story by quoting her father, who promised that he would return to Normandy. She ended with a promise to her father, who died 8 years ago of cancer: “I’m going there, Dad, and I’ll see the beaches and the barricades and the monuments. I’ll see the graves, and I’ll put flowers there just like you wanted to do. I’ll feel all the things you made me feel through your stories and your eyes. I’ll never forget what you went through, Dad, nor will I let anyone else forget. And, Dad, I’ll always be proud.”

Through the words of his loving daughter, who is here with us today, a D-day veteran has shown us the meaning of this day far better than any President can. It is enough for us to say about Private Zanatta and all the men of honor and courage who fought beside him four decades ago: We will always remember. We will always be proud. We will always be prepared, so we may always be free.

Thank you.

– President Ronald Reagan

To all those who have served to protect and defend liberty, thank you.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Great story, thanks for sharing.

Knucklehead on June 6, 2009 at 12:26 PM

My reason for asking is that, if he did go on that trip, or on similar trips, he went through a hell worse than can be described, and got little recognition for it.

OldEnglish on June 6, 2009 at 11:52 AM

Thank you OldEnglish, you’re right. He was transferred back statside by 1945, by that time it was a much safer ocean. He made runs to Guadalcanal, the Phillipines, Murmansk, Vladivostok, Morocco, in some very rough conditions. He was hit by shrapnel by a flying bomb and was carried in a fellow seaman’s arms to a hopital in Oran. You’re right, the Merchant Seamen of all nations took a horrific beating and got little recognition.

itsspideyman on June 6, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Houston Chronicle: REMEMBERING D-DAY
Local D-Day veteran receives Legion of Honor medal

Decades passed before Houston’s Clyde Combs told his children he was part of the massive D-Day invasion when Allied troops fought past Nazi mines and machine guns to storm France’s beaches and march on to liberate Europe.

The 84-year-old former Navy PT boat crewman didn’t tell, he said, because he didn’t think anyone cared.

On Friday, Combs was inducted into France’s prestigious Legion of Honor to commemorate the battle’s 65th anniversary today.

“We remember the Alamo, we remember Pearl Harbor, and we need to remember D-Day,” he said. “So many young people have forgotten what happened that they couldn’t tell you want Normandy was.”

But Combs will stand on the edge of Omaha Beach today. And he will know.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 12:49 PM

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 11:44 AM
.
I agree, but he left Paris alone because of its importance to the art world (Hitler thought of himself as an artist first, a politician second). St. Petersburg & Warsaw were to be destroyed because they were built by inferior Slavs and were therefore ugly.

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Hmmm, but St. Petersburg (Leningrad) and Warsaw resisted…Paris didn’t.

Dr. ZhivBlago on June 6, 2009 at 12:56 PM

Tetris?
Really?
Whatever.

Ed, very well done. My dad would have liked to see a little appreciation. Well done.

Never Again!

Blacksmith8 on June 6, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Question: anyone else think Obama felt far more comfortable speaking in Cairo than he did at Normandy?

As I listened to Obama today, I got the impression that he views the patriotic duties of his position as annoying wastes of time. I can’t help thinking that always in the back of his mind are the sentiments: “When are we going to get over this World War II-era worship? This is so last generation. After all, we’re the ones we’ve been waiting for.”

BuckeyeSam on June 6, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Our most sacred homage to all our forces who were forced by Fascists to defend Liberty and our Constitutional Government at Normandy.

That the amalgam of all Marxism, President Obama, represented all those honorable souls today at Normandy is a very bad omen. Obama dishonors our nation’s sacrifice by revising all things to be about His Own self. That Mr. Brown renamed the sacred memory of Omaha Beach after Mr. Obama is unforgivable and unforgettable, regardless of intent. Above all, the British Upper Crust pride themselves with verbal delivery, written and spoken. Mr. Brown denigrates our two nations’ combined histories and the entire Western alliance of nations, coercing us into their Fascist pie in the sky.

God help us.

To our fallen heroes, we remember you, we honor you.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:07 PM

With regard to the Russians in World War II:

Russia herself was invaded, and the largest land battles ever took place on the open spaces of Russia.

Russia’s leaders helped Hitler come to power. Then they threw their own men, young and old, into a meat grinder to stop Hitler. Then, when Berlin was defended by men too old to be soldiers and children too young to be Hitler Youth, and by a few women, the Russians conquered it by burying under the bodies of Russian soldiers.

Russia’s leaders and Russia’s political structure bear a lot of blame for Hitler’s power, and for the slaughter of their own people.

Russia’s people paid a heavy price in the fight against Hitler. They are to be recognized, consoled, and yes, applauded for what they did and suffered. Russia’s leaders did not deserve them but thank God for their sacrifice.

There. Can we all agree on that?

njcommuter on June 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

WMGT, Macon, Georgia: Local Veteran Remembers D-Day Experience, 65 years later

Stan Lester was drafted on February 4th, 1943. At the time he was working at a grocery store in Athens, Georgia. He traveled to South Carolina for training and was shipped to Sicily to fight Italians. Then, he went from England to Normandy.

Lester remembers vividly, 65 years later, specific times of day and what was happening. He landed at early before 7AM. He was covered in the blood of his fellow soldiers by 3PM. By nightfall, he was hungry, but remained unscathed.

It was a turning point in the war that dealt a devastating blow to Axis forces.

On D-Day, Private Lester was known as “Pee-Wee” to fellow soldiers. He stayed busy helping others who were injured by enemy fire. He recalled, “I was not trained to do what I wound up doing, because what I wound up doing was trying to save lives.”

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

November 4, 2008

The day the West subjected itself to tyranny.

NTropy on June 6, 2009 at 1:18 PM

Does anyone else have their flag out today? I think I am he only one on my street.

My flag is always out.

Our Stars and Stripes are waving beautifully in this D-Day breeze under a glorious blue sky and brilliant sun.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:21 PM

Does anyone else have their flag out today? I think I am he only one on my street.

My flag is always out.

My flag (replaced several times) has been flying since 9/11 and will continue to fly as long as we have American troops in harms way. My neighbors, who have Obama stickers on their cars, have never flown flags, even on 4th of July.

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 1:28 PM

My thanks of immense proportions to all who served and serve today.

I also think General Patton ought to be remembered today, right along with all the rest on D-Day. Patton, I believe, really swung the European victory our way, though I bet he’d say it was his men who did. ;]

Lourdes on June 6, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Our most sacred homage to all our forces who were forced by Fascists to defend Liberty and our Constitutional Government at Normandy.

That the amalgam of all Marxism, President Obama, represented all those honorable souls today at Normandy is a very bad omen. Obama dishonors our nation’s sacrifice by revising all things to be about His Own self. That Mr. Brown renamed the sacred memory of Omaha Beach after Mr. Obama is unforgivable and unforgettable, regardless of intent. Above all, the British Upper Crust pride themselves with verbal delivery, written and spoken. Mr. Brown denigrates our two nations’ combined histories and the entire Western alliance of nations, coercing us into their Fascist pie in the sky.

God help us.

To our fallen heroes, we remember you, we honor you.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:07 PM

I’m glad you wrote that because God knows I sure wanted to.

Lourdes on June 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM

One leader we can remember that day is the only General Officer to go ashore with the first wave. BGEN Theodore Roosevelt Jr., eldest son of the president. Wounded and decoreated in WWI, oldest man to go ashore that day. Suffering from arthritis, he directed the attack on Utah Beach with his cane that he had with him. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions that day, making the Roosevelts and the MacArthurs the only father-son recipients. He kept going until he died a few weeks after d-day in the field of a heart attack.

Squid Shark on June 6, 2009 at 1:37 PM

Obama is not worthy of his Office, and today marks the obscenity of his election as he desecrates the sacrifice Americans made at Normandy for our Constitution against Fascism.

It is wrong to project Fascism as anything other than the evil we fought to conquer in WWII.

Our fathers and grandfathers and greatgrandfathers paid their respect, allegiance and sacrifices to our Constitution and to our nation of people at Normandy.

We must do no less than they if we presume to honor them.

It is too easy when attributing our WWII veterans and fallen troops with the honorable reference as ‘The Greatest Generation’ to excuse ourselves from the responsibility and committed effort to also be ‘The Greatest Generation’.

But that is what our troops at Normandy expected from Americans at home. They didn’t simply die for our freedom, but so that we could always stand up for our Constitution and our united nation of united people with them, yesterday today and tomorrow. Every segment of our population took part in the WWII theater against tyranny, whether Imperial or Fascist. Every segment of our population today must do the same, or bear the consequences as we now are from being too lenient with Marxism and wimping out for a quick buck and opportunity to abuse power, people and our Constitution.

Obama Beach
Nomen est omen.
The name is the sign.
Infamy

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Well, The West may have freed itself from tyranny but the same can’t be said for Eastern Europe. France and Britain declared ( a phony ) war on Germany because of its invasion of Poland. The fact that Russia joined it that invasion and partition of Poland was somehow overlooked. The War may have ended in 1945 but Poland remained under tyranny for almost a half century.

It was necessary to fight WWII but it was less of a victory than we remember.

Laurence on June 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I’m 27 years old. For me it is extremely hard to imagine such historical events as being undertaken by my peers. Yet they were – those young men were no different from the men I walk amongst every day. It is only commemorations such as this that allow the imagination to achieve this. Their suffering was no less harrowing, their terror no less debilitating, and their courage no less unexpected by themselves in their darkest moments. It is terribly sad that that generation is in the process of leaving us. They are our link to the best part of ourselves, when it was shown in reality to match up to what we always dreamed it would. They are all heroes.

thedarknight on June 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Might I suggest everyone to purchase & watch the HBO series Band of Brothers, which I usually start watching at around 10:00am, and continue through out D-Day weekend. One of the best programs made. It follows the 101st airborn through the war.

God bless our Veterans. They gave ALL.

portlandon on June 6, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Saw it. Own it. Bought one for Dad last year.
Dad is my favorite veteran (Air Force – Korean War)
and I bought him a DVD player at the same time
so he would watch it.

There. Can we all agree on that?

njcommuter on June 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Yes. Most Definitely. Nicely put.
Consider it the punctuation of the point.

— hat tip —

TimLenox on June 6, 2009 at 1:53 PM

Tony737 on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Juno, Gold, Sword, Omaha, and Utah.
You owe me a Wild Turkey and coke.
I never got the name of the beach out of my dad. He did share some memories of chasing Patton across France. He was with the 89th at Ordruff.
Yeah, I’m missing him today.

Blacksmith8 on June 6, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Lourdes on June 6, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I join with all who thank God for all good things, and for the strength from God to endure and prevail through acts of faith against evil, that truth will triumph.

Fortitudine vincimus. By endurance we conquer.

450,000 souls taken at Normandy cry for God’s justice.

We will never forget D-Day and all that it means to us, NOW AS THEN. No revisionist who desecrates the shores of Normandy will conquer an America where the people love our Constitution and abhor the threat of fraud.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:57 PM

“Wound my heart with a monotonous languor..”

LimaLimaMikeFoxtrot on June 6, 2009 at 2:04 PM

It was necessary to fight WWII but it was less of a victory than we remember.

Laurence on June 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Patton was absolutely correct. Eisenhower was weak kneed within the alliance, a diplomat first, American last. FDR envied Stalin more than he’d ever admit, and was himself a Marxist at heart like Wilson and Obama. Eisenhower really screwed the pooch by dismissing Patton’s advice, excusing himself on diplomatic grounds, but as likely as not his dislike for Patton was envy for the superior intellect. Eisenhower inaugurated the Cold War by never finishing WWII properly. You can’t conquer Marxism by an alliance against Fascists with Communists, the evil twins.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Sixty-five years ago today, the US, Britain, Canada, as well as Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland and others, sent their best young men to storm the beaches of Normandy and liberate an entire continent from the iron grip of a madman and a cult of death that surrounded him

Not really.

We have had a victory over the Germans and disarmed them, but we have failed in the liberation of Europe; we have lost the war!
- George S. Patton

MB4 on June 6, 2009 at 2:07 PM

Imagine, if you can for a minute, what it must have been like riding the 2-3+ hours to the shore on the landing craft.

Mostly 17-20 year old boys, really. The first time many had ever left their home city was to join the military.

Please, please let there be a place where they are happy.

Please.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 2:09 PM

God help us.

To our fallen heroes, we remember you, we honor you.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 1:07 PM

In my search for news stories devoted to honoring the sacrifices made on D-Day, so many include at least a paragraph honoring Obama. And some seem more devoted to honoring our current president than to honoring those who sacrificed their lives for our liberty.

Yet, just 25 years ago, June 6th was not all about President Reagan, and Reagan’s address was so full of emotional devotion that he had difficulty keeping back his own tears so that he could complete his speech.

Yes, please God, help us.

Today, so many of us seem devoted only to that shiny sprout of the present, as if unaware or uncaring that it emerges from roots that run decades and then hundreds, and further thousands of years deep. If we ignore those roots, fail to water them with our tears, fail to feed them with the honors they are due, we shall simply creep along the surface, a slender and fragile tendril, twisting and turning along the way.

Instead, today and every day, we must remember, we must honor those who have sacrificed their lives so that we may live free. And we must remain vigilant, so that the great Tree of Liberty never withers due to appeasement, or is cut down to creep apologetically along the ground, but always stands tall and proud.

God bless those who fight for Liberty.

And God Bless the Untied States of America.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM

I agree, but he left Paris alone because of its importance to the art world

artlover on June 6, 2009 at 11:50 AM

Uh no, Hitler “left Paris alone” because France surrendered long before the Germans got anywhere near it.

ProfessorMiao on June 6, 2009 at 11:56 AM

Dudes! Is Paris Burning?

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 2:19 PM

It was necessary to fight WWII but it was less of a victory than we remember.

Laurence on June 6, 2009 at 1:44 PM

Amazing! Britain and France did declare war on Germany following the invasion of Poland. It acquired the title “Phony War” during the remainder of 1939 and early 1940 simply because not much happened in the European Theater until May of 1940 when Germany invaded France, placing it too under Nazi tyranny and forcing the British to evacuate France. The fact that the Soviet Union chose to impose another form of tyranny on its own country and the countries it occupied can in no way undermine the crushing victory against Hitler in the West, the annihilation of the Luftwaffe, the neutering of the German navy, the saving of Britain from invasion, and the liberation of France, Holland and othe Nazi-occupied Western European nations. Seen in that light, it was indeed a great victory.

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 2:20 PM

Oh, but Hitler had intended to destroy Paris all along to build some Germanic monstrosity in its place.

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 2:21 PM

GENERAL PATTON’S WARNING

It was only in the final days of the war and during his tenure as military governor of Germany — after he had gotten to know both the Germans and America’s “gallant Soviet allies” — that Patton’s understanding of the true situation grew and his opinions changed. In his diary and in many letters to his family, friends, various military colleagues, and government officials, he expressed his new understanding and his apprehensions for the future. His diary and his letters were published in 1974 by the Houghton Mifflin Company under the title The Patton Papers.

Several months before the end of the war, General Patton had recognized the fearful danger to the West posed by the Soviet Union, and he had disagreed bitterly with the orders which he had been given to hold back his army and wait for the Red Army to occupy vast stretches of German, Czech, Rumanian, Hungarian, and Yugoslav territory, which the Americans could have easily taken instead.

On May 7, 1945, just before the German capitulation, Patton had a conference in Austria with U.S. Secretary of War Robert Patterson. Patton was gravely concerned over the Soviet failure to respect the demarcation lines separating the Soviet and American occupation zones. He was also alarmed by plans in Washington for the immediate partial demobilization of the U.S. Army.

Patton said to Patterson: “Let’s keep our boots polished, bayonets sharpened, and present a picture of force and strength to the Red Army. This is the only language they understand and respect.”

Patton: “I understand the situation. Their (the Soviet) supply system is inadequate to maintain them in a serious action such as I could put to them. They have chickens in the coop and cattle on the hoof — that’s their supply system. They could probably maintain themselves in the type of fighting I could give them for five days. After that it would make no difference how many million men they have, and if you wanted Moscow I could give it to you. They lived on the land coming down. There is insufficient left for them to maintain themselves going back. Let’s not give them time to build up their supplies. If we do, then . . . we have had a victory over the Germans and disarmed them, but we have failed in the liberation of Europe; we have lost the war!”

The more he saw of the Soviets, the stronger Patton’s conviction grew that the proper course of action would be to stifle communism then and there, while the chance existed. Later in May 1945 he attended several meetings and social affairs with top Red Army officers, and he evaluated them carefully. He noted in his diary on May 14: “I have never seen in any army at any time, including the German Imperial Army of 1912, as severe discipline as exists in the Russian army. The officers, with few exceptions, give the appearance of recently civilized Mongolian bandits.”

And Patton’s aide, General Hobart Gay, noted in his own journal for May 14: “Everything they (the Russians) did impressed one with the idea of virility and cruelty.”

Nevertheless, Patton knew that the Americans could whip the Reds then — but perhaps not later. On May 18 he noted in his diary: “In my opinion, the American Army as it now exists could beat the Russians with the greatest of ease, because, while the Russians have good infantry, they are lacking in artillery, air, tanks, and in the knowledge of the use of the combined arms, whereas we excel in all three of these. If it should be necessary to right the Russians, the sooner we do it the better.”
- National Vanguard Tabloid (Issue Number 53, 1977)

MB4 on June 6, 2009 at 2:22 PM

And today we give thanks to Ed for liberating us from radiofreevillage.

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 2:25 PM

One in twenty-six US mariners (merchant seamen) on Lend-Lease ships and runs died in the line of duty … This represents a greater proportion of war-related deaths than for any other single branch of the US armed forces …

Including the only Morrissey from our branch who died in service to his country, my father’s Uncle Eddie.

Ed Morrissey on June 6, 2009 at 10:49 AM

Your great-uncle’s name is probably inscribed in this Honor Roll, kept inside a glass urn placed on a block of Vermont marble, at the altar of the Mariners Memorial Chapel of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy.

http://www.usmma.edu/about/marinerschapel/history.htm

Here’s the display case with the Honor Roll book.

(My husband and I were married right at that altar, before that urn.)

newton on June 6, 2009 at 2:28 PM

And today we give thanks to Ed for liberating us from radiofreevillage.

Blake on June 6, 2009 at 2:25 PM

The Winner…

Keemo on June 6, 2009 at 2:31 PM

ProfessorMiao on June 6, 2009 at 11:58 AM

Juno – Canada
Gold – British
Sword – British
Omaha – USA
Utah – USA

btw The maps for Operation Overlord are at D-Day Airborne and Beach Assault

Blacksmith8 on June 6, 2009 at 2:52 PM

*salutes*

Yakko77 on June 6, 2009 at 2:56 PM

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 1:15 PM

Greetings and best wishes for your good day.

Thank you for posting the stories of our D-Day veterans.

Our movie scores simply fall so short of the symphonic and opera scores to express our zeitgeist today. Here’s a brief homage to the young Romantic penchant for prophecy revealed.

As fate would allow a brooding Hagen, , once . Perhaps Germany’s Rheinmaiden will thwart today’s incarnation from too easily regenerating. (Speaking of wisdom, Merkel could teach Sotomayor a thing or two but for the latter’s vanity.)

I’ll leap through the Ring to the Cross labyrinth as I imagine to a pastoral reflection, Lox.

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 3:14 PM

Trafalgar on June 6, 2009 at 12:16 PM

Thanks for the story…brought a tear of joy to my eye. My father-in-law was a nineteen year old sargent who went on to fight in the Battle of Bulge and was wounded in Belgium. We have audio of an interview he did with his grandson about his war memories. His grandson is my nineteen year old son, now. He passed away eight years ago. We have pledged to each other that we will return to Europe to visit each of the sites he mentions in his interview. I wish we could have been there today.

Our favorite movies are The Battle of the Bulge and Band of Brothers. We will also be watching the D Day celebration today on the Military Channel.

We will never forget this wonderful man.

d1carter on June 6, 2009 at 3:22 PM

Thank you all who have related your personal stories.

TexasDan on June 6, 2009 at 3:26 PM

Is there a Reagan speech that isn’t moving?

jdkchem on June 6, 2009 at 3:46 PM

ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, in whose hands are the living and the dead; We give thee thanks for all those thy servants who have laid down their lives in the service of our country. Grant to them thy mercy and the light of thy presence, that the good work which thou hast begun in them may be perfected; through Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord. Amen.

E9RET on June 6, 2009 at 3:49 PM

Thanks for posting, I needed to remember those sacrifices from someone who appreciated them.

Cindy Munford on June 6, 2009 at 3:50 PM

My father is 80, so he was too young to serve, but all four of his brothers did. In December, he first told me the story of how a woman told my grandmother, “Well, you can’t expect all four of those boys to come home.” Grandmother pulled up every inch of her 5-ft., 100-lb. body and said, “I certainly do.” And they did, thank God. The only time I ever saw my father choke up was when he talked about their homecoming–he couldn’t actually say more than, “I remember when they came home.”

God bless them all, and God bless America.

DrMagnolias on June 6, 2009 at 4:13 PM

“FDR envied Stalin more than he’d ever admit, and was himself a Marxist at heart like Wilson and Obama.”

maverick muse on June 6, 2009 at 2:05 PM

What rubbish. FDR was a solid wartime President. He bent every rule and even broke a few laws in order to help Britain until the US could formally enter the war. How is Obama a Marxist? Eisenhower was a socialist right?

lexhamfox on June 6, 2009 at 4:29 PM

Wasn’t it the Muslims who freed the wast from tyranny? I heard that somewhere recently.

BDavis on June 6, 2009 at 4:36 PM

In partial defense (just a small piece) of radiofreevillage, the Russian/Soviet people did sacrifice enormously during the war. And without those sacrifices, it would have been extremely difficult to defeat Hitler. Certainly, much more costly.

But that is distinguishing between the Soviet government and their people. The former deserve no credit for the victory; the latter – the average Russian man and woman – a great deal.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 11:37 AM

ban-worthy.

crr6 on June 6, 2009 at 4:37 PM

***
WW2 was the last war the U.S.A. won. President FDR was a democratic / liberal / socialist guy–but he saw the “handwriting on the wall” and prepared our isolationist country to survive. If he hadn’t done so we would all be speaking German or Japanese here now.
***
English and French “leaders” thought they could buy peace by working with the League of Nations and appeasing Hitler. A few patriots in these countries saw the “handwriting on the wall” and tried (and failed) to prepare their country to survive. Winston Churchill, Charles Degualle, and a few WW1 era French leaders saw the danger.
***
Nazi German generals were scared stiff each time Hitler broke the WW1 Versailles treaty that “ended” the war. They knew that if France mobilized and drove into Germany in the early 1930′s that Hitler would be toast. Neville Chamberlain and others sold out small countries and made “peace” treaties with Hitler–who “armed up” and took over most of Europe when he was strong enough to win.
***
When you see the graves of 10000 American soldiers buried in Normandy–realize that they died because France lacked the courage to hit Hitler before Germany could win. A quarter of a million Americans, twenty million Russians, six million Jews, and many others died due to the French failure to engage Hitler early on.
***
Like the famed historian Santayana said, “Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it’s mistakes!”. President Obama (PBUH) thinks that working with the (not) United Nations and appeasing our country’s enemies will eliminate the need for a strong U.S. Military to engage our enemies early on. I don’t think he can read (or cares about) the “handwriting on the wall”.
***
DEJA VU ALL OVER AGAIN–the Iranian and North Korean terrorist supporting states are building their A-bombs now–coming soon to a U.S.S.A. city near you soon.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on June 6, 2009 at 4:43 PM

Thank you for the thread, Ed. And thank you to everyone who shared their personal stories. I don’t mind admitting that after seeing Regan’s speech again, I got a little choked up.

DrAllecon on June 6, 2009 at 4:52 PM

ban-worthy.

crr6 on June 6, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Why is that, because the Russian People didnt sacrifice greatly in this war?

Squid Shark on June 6, 2009 at 4:52 PM

When you see the graves of 10000 American soldiers buried in Normandy–realize that they died because France lacked the courage to hit Hitler before Germany could win. A quarter of a million Americans, twenty million Russians, six million Jews, and many others died due to the French failure to engage Hitler early on.

Hows the view from the cheap seats? The french suffered more than nearly any other country in WWI, I am sure they were not all jazzed up to pick a fight with Germany again. It is easy for an American to flap their gums about the failure of the British and the continentals to engage, but Americans for all their bluster suffered very little in the first war comparatively and really are not in a position to lecture.

Squid Shark on June 6, 2009 at 4:57 PM

ban-worthy.

Sarcasm aside, no one here is dismissing the sacrifices that the Russian/Soviet people went through.

It’s just that it’s absurd not to take into account the treachery of Stalin and his contributions to the horrors of WWII.

Russian people – ordinary ones – thank you.

Soviet government – no thank you.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 5:01 PM

Why is that, because the Russian People didnt sacrifice greatly in this war?

He’s being sarcastic.

Or she.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 5:02 PM

FDR was a solid wartime President. He bent every rule and even broke a few laws

lexhamfox on June 6, 2009 at 4:29 PM

By your “logic”, then, Chimpy Bush was a solid wartime President too.

Just curious, do you defend FDR throwing all of those Japanese-Americans into concentration camps in 1942?

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Bill Levinsin at Israpundit has this great piece today.

Sixty-five years ago, Allied troops landed in Normandy to begin the liberation of Europe from Nazi occupation. The United States lost, on a single day, more soldiers than it lost in Iraq since 2003. This is a good time to ask the world, and especially those parts that denounce American “imperialism,” a bit of historical trivia:

How much land and territory did the United States demand in exchange for Woodrow Wilson’s crusade to “make the world safe for democracy,” the liberation of Europe from Nazism, the defense of South Korean independence, its efforts to save Southeast Asia from Communist oppression and genocide, its defense of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia against Saddam Hussein, the liberation of part of Afghanistan from the Taliban, and its liberation of the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein?

(Answer below)

Enough land to bury its fallen soldiers.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2009 at 5:04 PM

***
Hi SQUID SHARK–June 6–4:57 PM. Good comment–France did suffer gravely during WW1. Hitler–and other warmongering countries–always count on the unwillingness of democratic countries to “waste the lives” of their soldiers in vain.
***
Read William Schrirer’s excellent book THE COLLAPSE OF THE FOURTH REPUBLIC (1940 France) on how this type of thinking paralyzed the French government and military. His book THE FALL OF THE THIRD REICH also has good insights into what really happened.
***
Countries (and peoples) have hard choices to make in life. They can stand on their feet and die fighting–or they can submit to evil and “live” as slaves. Another historian said, “The only thing necessary for evil to triumph is for good men (and nations!) to do nothing”.
***
John Bibb
***

rocketman on June 6, 2009 at 5:15 PM

He’s being sarcastic.

Or she.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Yep. I don’t understand why radiofreevillage was banned for essentially saying the same thing (albeit more provocatively).

crr6 on June 6, 2009 at 5:15 PM

But that is distinguishing between the Soviet government and their people. The former deserve no credit for the victory; the latter – the average Russian man and woman – a great deal.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 11:37 AM

ban-worthy.

crr6 on June 6, 2009 at 4:37 PM

Nope; not even close; SteveMG makes a cogent and credible point, without rancor. How is this ban-worthy?

(Or, are you just stung because RFVillage felt the hammer?)

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 5:26 PM

I see so many today making great mention of this anniversary, and somehow it makes me so angry. We all understand that the America that did this is gone, right? We all understand that this country will never stand against tyranny (even within its own borders) again, right? We all understand that we are, in fact, running headlong into tyranny at this very moment in time, right? Yeah, Reagan’s speech was great, but we’re all aware that it’s another sort of presidential speech that gets attention these days, right? So these weepy remembrances, they’re meant to do what? Make us wistful for what we once were? Tell us that our best days are behind us? I’m angry today because this anniversary just reminds me that if you embrace liberty and democracy, you are now in the minority in the United States. The time for liberty and democracy has passed, and these remembrances are just a sad, sad reminder of what will never be again.

Rational Thought on June 6, 2009 at 5:27 PM

this anniversary just reminds me that if you embrace liberty and democracy, you are now in the minority in the United States. The time for liberty and democracy has passed, and these remembrances are just a sad, sad reminder of what will never be again.

Rational Thought on June 6, 2009 at 5:27 PM

I fervently pray that you are wrong; and I don’t think that those who love freedom, and celebrate American Exceptionalism are in the minority. I believe we are still a majority, but are often too quiet or polite about it. We need to insist! that American Greatness is taught and spoken of. We need to tell the stories, and fly the flag, and stand during the National Anthem. And, we need to elect only politicians who will publicly proclaim the greatness of our country, our systems, and her history.

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 5:37 PM

Yep. I don’t understand why radiofreevillage was banned for essentially saying the same thing (albeit more provocatively).

Sometimes – actually often – it’s how you say something that is as important as what you say.

SteveMG on June 6, 2009 at 5:41 PM

Will we be there the next time tyranny raises it’s ugly head. The world better hope so.

faol on June 6, 2009 at 5:52 PM

God bless those who fight for Liberty.

And God Bless the Untied States of America.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 2:10 PM

So say we all.

Maquis on June 6, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Operation Bagration (The Destruction of German Army Group Center) launched on June 23, 1944 was the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany. June – August 1944 were three rotten months for the Nazis.

Hilts on June 6, 2009 at 6:10 PM

I don’t recall Mr. Reagan using the word ‘tragedy’ to define DDay, as Mr. Obama did today. This points to a mental handicap in Obama and like minded democraps. They view the military and its missions as tragedies. Indeed they view 9/11 as a ‘tragedy’ not an act of war. DDay and 9/11 are like hurricanes and tornadoes to democraps. Tragic. Indeed, I was shocked when I heard Elie Weisel today state that all wars are useless and crazy. I wonder if America during WWII believed such a thing, how he would have survived Buchenwald. The horrific part is that the reporters hearing such insanity agree with it and thus don’t ask the pertinent follow up question about US liberating Europe and whether that was crazy and useless.

eaglewingz08 on June 6, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Or do you need help?

radiofreevillage on June 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

You’re the only one who needs help.

This guy was someone else, got banned, came back when HA opened the doors…and will be back again. He’s a Russia-ueber-alles guy, and will be easily spotted in the 3rd round.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2009 at 6:32 PM

We all understand that the America that did this is gone, right? We all understand that this country will never stand against tyranny (even within its own borders) again, right? We all understand that we are, in fact, running headlong into tyranny at this very moment in time, right?

Rational Thought on June 6, 2009 at 5:27 PM

Perhaps I understand your sentiments, but for the 6th of June they are spectacularly misplaced. This is the day that we remember that a tremendous evil, holding many advantages, was defeated by men who set aside their fears and translated their hopes and ideals into courageous action.

You ask us to understand defeat, but we refuse to do so.

We understand that evil has always stalked the earth and has never yet fully prevailed. We understand that for as long as we are standing, it has not yet won.

We understand that freedom must be fought for, not once, not occassionally, but every single day.

We understand that we have the better arguments, we have the better men.

We understand that “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing”.

We understand, with shame and sorrow, that we have been lazily presuming that justice and truth would prevail of their own accord, but meanwhile our opponents have been busy.

Yet, we understand that the size and scope of the evil is no measure of it strength.

Most of all, and especially on days such as this …

We understand that it has been pushed back and beaten down before.

YiZhangZhe on June 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

eaglewingz08 on June 6, 2009 at 6:29 PM

Excellent point; another reminder that words have precise meanings.

I always correct people who refer to “9/11″ or the “tragedy;” a much more correct term is the attack on the United States on September 11th.

This is why I worry about “swapping out” terms; an act of terrorism (an act whose intended purpose is to terrorize by violence) is not a “man caused disaster” – that makes it sound casual or accidental.

My father was one of the many who signed up on December 8th, 1941; he felt he had no choice. So, if useless and crazy, also, in his mind, necessary.

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 6:42 PM

YiZhangZhe on June 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Brilliant! Thank you.

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 6:55 PM

Will we be there the next time tyranny raises it’s ugly head. The world better hope so.

faol on June 6, 2009 at 5:52 PM

The evil Bush, in his D-Day speech at Normandy in 2004, promised France that we would save them again. His host, the cheese-eating surrender monkey Chirac, was so moved he grasped both of Chimpy’s hands after the speech and wouldn’t let go.

Sadly, Chimpy’s great speech was basically ignored-the media hated him with the intensity of a thousand suns, and to make matters worse, Ronnie Reagan’s death overshadowed it.

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2009 at 7:08 PM

3393 have died

They died fighting a dictator who [I admit it] considered himself at war with the US, but had never actually attacked the United States. Of course, when that dictator sits on 40% of the world’s oil…then aristocratic families in the White House are bound to come up with any reason to go to war; as long as it gets them their blood money!

3393 Americans will never become doctors and save lives, will never run businesses and feed families that build a nation. They’ll never teach subsequent generations, create and share unique art, and they’ll never add to American literature or culture again.
They died under a false pretense that they were fighting to free others and open the door to Democracy for those ‘oppressed’-I mean really, you canNOT force someone to vote, and if they really wanted Democracy they could have risen up and fought for it like Americans did in the Revolution

3393 Americans are dead because our President needed a war to pull this nation out of the economic toilet!
They fought for each other, they hoped to survive, and everything else…the mom, apple pie, and politics of Saturday night is just BS!

3393 Americans are dead because this nation was attacked by suicidal wackos who got the nation’s blood pressure up, and happened to have a ‘relationship’ with another ‘Axis of Evil’ power. COME ON! A relationship? There’s NO evidence at all of a “COOPERATIONAL RELATIONSHIP” BETWEEN THE TWO!!
We now know from British documents that intelligence before the war was being focused and manipulated to make the case for war almost a year before it started.

3393 Americans are dead! They died on June 6th 1944 Invading France to impose democracy on a people who should have risen up for it themselves, to fight a dictator who never attacked the US but considered himself at war with the US, and who had no operational ties to Japan-the nation that DID attack the US.

3393 Americans are dead now

scottm on June 6, 2009 at 7:20 PM

YiZhangZhe on June 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

While there is ONE good man, I will stand with him.

Blacksmith8 on June 6, 2009 at 7:21 PM

Del Dolemonte on June 6, 2009 at 7:08 PM

All of President Bush’s well-crafted speeches, in defense of freedom and supporting America’s great contributions to liberty, were ignored, by a media complicit in an outrageous lie. It suited them, in pursuit of their leftward agenda, to paint him a moron. In truth, he is missed by many.

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 7:33 PM

We understand that freedom must be fought for, not once, not occassionally, but every single day.

YiZhangZhe on June 6, 2009 at 6:33 PM

We are in the minority, now.

We won the war, but lost the peace. The enemy of freedom is no longer at the gates, it is in the living-room.

OldEnglish on June 6, 2009 at 8:12 PM

D-Day,June 6,1944

Thank-You Allied Nations,

Thank-you,for Freedom,and the bright Light of
Lady Liberty,Thank-You,America,as the beacon
of the Free World,

may God bless the United States of America:)
——————————-

At, John at OPFOR website,has Ronald Reagans address at
Normandy.

http://op-for.com/

canopfor on June 6, 2009 at 8:14 PM

canopfor on June 6, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Thank you, Canada, for being a good neighbor, and for the sacrifices you made on D-Day.

Loxodonta on June 6, 2009 at 8:26 PM

Or do you need help?

radiofreevillage on June 6, 2009 at 10:39 AM

You’re the only one who needs help.

This guy was someone else, got banned, came back when HA opened the doors…and will be back again. He’s a Russia-ueber-alles guy, and will be easily spotted in the 3rd round.

Schadenfreude on June 6, 2009 at 6:32 PM

In freevillage’s world everything is Russian Pravda propaganda. Nothing is what it is because everything is what it isn’t. And contrary-wise; what it is, it isn’t, and what it isn’t, it is. You see comrades?

Cheshire Cat on June 6, 2009 at 8:30 PM

canopfor on June 6, 2009 at 8:14 PM

Reagan combined superb delivery with a subject matter that always had these elements:

1. America is a great nation, and has done great things.
2. Freedom is costly, and worth every sacrifice.
3. All people want freedom, and all deserve it.

More than “another Reagan” (who we won’t get – his kind of greatness is a one-shot deal,) we need leaders who will return to these themes, and speak them, and live them by their deeds.

massrighty on June 6, 2009 at 8:35 PM

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