US Soldiers on D-Day Set Bar for Courage

CNS News | 6/6/2019 | Staff
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KYIV, Ukraine—This week we honor the soldiers who saved Europe by storming the beaches of Normandy 75 years ago on D-Day—June 6, 1944.

These soldiers were not born and bred to be warriors.

Men - Plans - War - Family - Career

No, they were born as free men, with other plans besides going to war. Family. Career. A life lived with purpose in peace and in pursuit of happiness. These were the ordinary dreams of ordinary men.

But fate had the last word. Theirs was a generation unfortunately born into a historical moment that demanded exceptional sacrifices.

Civilization - Brink - Self-destruction - Years - Men

Civilization was on the brink of self-destruction 75 years ago, when these young men sacrificed the unrecoverable currency of their youth so that succeeding generations could live in a world where history does not begin and end, like the waist of an hourglass, with the fascist conquest of Europe.

In the summer of 2000, a few weeks before I reported for basic training at the Air Force Academy, I had a dream that I was an American soldier on D-Day. In the dream, I was a coward. I could not fight from fear.

Dream - Stuff - Combat - Courage

When I awoke, I felt ashamed, even though it was only a dream. I remember worrying if I truly had the right stuff to endure combat with courage.

I was just 18 at that time, and it was more than a year prior to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. So, I’ll be honest—I didn’t seriously consider then that I would ever go to war in my lifetime. Rather, I was thinking about a life of travel and adventure as an Air Force pilot.

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Going to war was never really a part of the picture. Many people my age and older shared that opinion at that time. Today, I look back and think how naive we all were.

This week, as we celebrate the 75th anniversary...
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