Monday, June 6, 2011

For Those Who Left the Vivid Air Signed with Their Honor

Today is the sixty-seventh anniversary of D-Day.  On this very date twenty-seven years ago the President of the United States gave a speech at Normandy at the ceremony commemorating the 40th anniversary.  On that occasion, Ronald Reagan spoke aloud words written for him by Peggy Noonan, a speechwriter whom he had never met prior to her writing for him the words that resonate beautifully and memorably almost three decades after he spoke them.  Words that I daresay shall continue to resonate with beauty and linger in our memory for as long as we possess the ability to remember. 

I talk enough.  Too damn much in fact.  Not today.  Today is all about the Boys of Pointe du Hoc.  Whether you read it, listen to it or watch it, do yourself the service today of spending just a little bit of time with it.  History is evolution in action.  We get to where we are going only by being mindful of from whence we have come.  There is no "now" without the "then" that preceded it.  A lesson so invaluable it cannot and should not ever be forgotten. 

We're bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We're bound by reality. The strength of America's allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe's democracies. We were with you then; we're with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."

Strengthened by their courage and heartened by their value [valor] and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.



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