Note: We originally posted the following tribute several months ago, but it was so good we wanted to share it again on Memorial Day. It was written by a Vietnam veteran who is serving as a Convention of States supporter. Information about the Convention of States nationwide effort to limit the power and jurisdiction of the federal government can be found here.
It was a bright, sunny afternoon when we arrived at Omaha Beach in northern France. Upon exiting the bus and walking out to the beach itself, I considered the drastic contrast between today’s peaceful Omaha Beach and the Omaha Beach of June 6, 1944. Walking on the same sand where so many American soldiers (about 2,500) died made me feel humbled, grateful, and respectful of the courage and bravery shown that day.
Omaha Beach, October 2014:
Omaha Beach, June 8, 1944:
General Omar Bradley's tribute to the men who landed on Omaha Beach:
Visit to Pointe du Hoc
The German 155 mm artillery positions on Pointe du Hoc had to be disabled because the guns could greatly damage American forces landing on both Omaha and Utah beaches. Two hundred twenty-five American Army Rangers were given the mission to scale the 90-foot high cliffs and disable the German guns. After heavy shelling by the US Navy, the Rangers landed at approximately 0700 and started their ascent of the cliffs amid stiff German gun fire. Thirty Rangers were killed scaling the cliffs, with another 105 Rangers killed on the top of the cliffs, until reinforced by other Rangers and elements of the 29th Infantry Division from Omaha Beach. After fighting for two days, only 90 of the original 225 Ranger attack force remained alive.
President Reagan addressing Pointe du Hoc surviving Rangers in 1984:
President and Mrs. Reagan thanking each surviving Pointe du Hoc Ranger:
Visit to the American Cemetery, Omaha Beach
There are over 9,300 headstones in the American Cemetery, 1,557 of which are for soldiers missing in action. Forty-five sets of brothers are buried here. The cemetery is a beautiful, peaceful place containing the graves of soldiers who died not only on Omaha Beach but also in the surrounding areas. Below is a photo of the cemetery today and under it, a photo of soldiers in June 1944 honoring their fellow soldiers buried in the temporary Omaha cemetery:
Photos taken while walking through the cemetery overlooking the English Channel:
Headstone of an unknown soldier:
A closing thought:
The words inscribed on the main monument in the American Cemetery pay a most honorable tribute to all the American soldiers and sailors who lost their lives on June 6, 1944, and during the weeks thereafter in northern France:
“THIS EMBATTLED SHORE, PORTAL OF FREEDOM,
IS FOREVER HALLOWED BY THE IDEALS, THE VALOR,
AND THE SACRIFICES OF OUR FELLOW COUNTRYMEN”
Amen, and thanks be to God for such brave Americans. May every generation of Americans raise up such men and women to protect the freedoms and liberty we too often take for granted.
Photo of the main monument at the Omaha American Cemetery: