By Gary P Jackson
June 6, 1944,
Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France. It was the largest amphibious invasion ever attempted. Many brave men died on this day, but those who lived went on to liberate Europe from the evils of Nazism.
Many great movies have been made, memorializing these heroes, with The Longest Day being my personal favorite. Not many movies have John Wayne and Sir Richard Burton as bit players! Like the invasion itself, the movie was a major undertaking with a huge cast of players. Shot in black and white, it’s one of those, if you haven’t seen, you simply must.
One of the groups portrayed in the movie is the “Boys of Point-du-Hoc,” United States Army Rangers. These brave men scaled a sheer cliff, that was occupied, at the top, by Germans. It was an amazing act of bravery and determination, as they fought for every inch they moved up those cliffs.
In 1984, on the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day invasion, President Ronald Reagan was on the beaches of Normandy and gave a beautiful tribute to the “Boys of Point-du-Hoc.” 31 years later, this speech, reportedly crafted with Peggy Noonan, will still give you chills.
As we honor the heroes of D-Day, and honor men who literally freed the world from tyranny and oppression, lets listen to President Ronald Reagan honor them, as only he could:
President Reagan’s continued push for peace in the world, as he speaks to Soviet aggression, is a very noteworthy part of this speech as well. Ronald Reagan was an amazing champion of Liberty and Freedom. A true hero. Lord we miss him so.
* Video courtesy The Reagan Foundation at The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library