Lest We Forget!
On Tuesday, June 6, 1944, over 160,000 brave men crossed the choppy waters of the English Channel to land in enemy-occupied France for the long-awaited Allied liberation of “Fortress Europe.”
Codenamed “Operation Overlord,” the Battle of Normandy was the largest amphibious invasion in human history. The mission: to liberate a continent suffering for four years under the murderous dictatorship of a racist totalitarian regime bent on world domination
On the eve of the battle, Supreme Allied Commander General Dwight D. Eisenhower toldthe Allied troops in a broadcast message: “You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
“The tide has turned,” he told them. “The free men of the world are marching together to victory. Good luck! And let us all beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
An armada of 5,000 ships and 15,000 aircraft supported the battle, as troops stormed five beaches along a 50-mile wide stretch of coast. Airborne divisions dropped behind enemy lines the night before to secure the eastern and western flanks. U.S. Army Rangers boldly scaled the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc under relentless enemy fire to take out the Nazi guns.
By that afternoon, General Eisenhower broadcast a message to the occupied countries telling them that “the liberation of Europe” had begun.
“Although the initial assault may not have been made in your own country,” he told them, “the hour of your liberation is approaching.”
By the time the battle ended, there were over 10,000 Allied casualties.
Within 11 months, Nazi Germany surrendered unconditionally. The men of D-Day had saved the world.
The following photo essay is offered in their honor and in honor of the men and women of our Greatest Generation.
The following is the audio of General Eisenhower’s broadcast to the Allied troops on the eve of the battle:
On the evening of June 6, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered a radio address informing the American people that the liberation of Europe was under way.
The president then asked his fellow Americans to join him in prayer as he beseeched Almighty God’s protection for “our sons, the pride of our nation” who were engaged that day “upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”
The following is the audio of President Roosevelt’s D-Day prayer broadcast to the nation that night: