Heroism Defined

D-Day, the largest seaborne invasion in history, occurred seventy-six years ago today. Nine countries participated in the landing at Normandy, France in an attempt to wrestle Europe from Nazi control.

The Allies lost 4,414 men on June 6, 1944, and the Axis powers suffered 4,000-9,000 casualties. It was the first step toward the defeat of Germany.

Dwight D. Eisenhower’s message to the troops:

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
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.
In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on
other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war
machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of
Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.

Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well
equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.

But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of
1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats,
in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their
strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home
Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions
of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men.
The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to
Victory!

I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in
battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!

Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great
and noble undertaking.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

God bless those members of the Greatest Generation.

12 thoughts on “Heroism Defined

  1. I just finished the autobiography of N. Jack “Dusty” Kleiss, one of the naval aviators who sank the four Japanese carriers in the Battle of Midway. An incredible life story of a true hero, oddly enough called “Never Call Me A Hero.”

    I wholeheartedly urge everyone to find a copy of it. I read it in just two days, as it was so hard to put down. I found it at Book-A-Million in the bargain bin. It is truly sad that it didn’t become a best seller.

    To all the brave men who fought during that time, may God Bless you and keep you. Thank you.

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      1. Seven bucks at Books-A-Million. New. Send me your address & I will send a copy at cost plus shipping. They had several copies in the bin.

        Wyatt, I have your address (unless I lost it, I was overseas the last time you sent it), say the word & I will do the same deal for you.

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  2. Proof – Yep.

    TX Nick – I’ll put it on my list. I am currently reading Fire and Fury: The Allied Bombing of Germany. It’s very good, even if the author leans to the left.

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    1. One of my favorite WWII history books is “The Two Ocean War” by Samuel Eliot Morison. But good luck on finding a copy.

      And, of course, I am a bit bias toward US Navy history.

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      1. Obviously. 🙂 Mrs. Earp works at my kids’ school and there’s an older guy who drops off books for me. Most are about military history, and I’m about thirty books in the hole. I’ll read them all, but every time I want to read the biography of Andrew Jackson, something else pops in to postpone it.

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  3. One of these days I am going to post the story of one of my good friends, who passed away a couple of months ago at the age of 99. He was a bombardier on a B-17 and flew several missions until he got shot down (at 25,000 ft). He spent the next 16-18 months in a German POW camp. He was a great man, as were most of the greatest generation. Their only real fault was having it so tough, they made it easy for all of us and then we made it easier on our kids and turned many of them into a bunch of candy assed millenials. Thank the Good Lord that there are still enough Americans that know how to deal with tough times.

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  4. RG – Dennis Prager says this often – as he is a Baby Boomer – “The Greatest Generation gave birth to the Stupid Generation.” Obviously, it’s not true for all, but there are more than a few Baby Boomers who are dreadful humans.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As a boomer, I can attest to that fact. And that some of my peers should have practiced celibacy. Or jerked off. That way we would have avoided this special snowflake generation.

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  5. The riots the other night in Iowa City left the Nile Kinnick statue at U of Iowa defaced. The man gave his life during WWII and they did this on June 6th! Do they not teach any history in school any longer or do these idiots just not give a flip?!

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