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The Longest Day

Today marks the 70th anniversary of Operation Neptune, the deadly beach landings at Normandy, part of the larger Normandy invasion that was Operation Overlord.

On this day, 2,499 American men lost their lives storming those beaches and parachuting into Normandy. Before Operation Overlord was concluded eighty-one days later, America had laid the lives of anotherĀ  18,339 of its sons upon the altar of freedom.

20,838 American lives lost, and countless more maimed and wounded, just in that one campaign. We’ve only lost 6,664 in thirteen years in Iraq and Afghanistan.

That’s over 257 American dead, each day, every day, of that terrible campaign. Our allies paid just as dear a price.

They liberated Europe for the citizens who couldn’t, then rebuilt it for those who wouldn’t, and fulfilled the promise of America only to turn it over to a generation who didn’t. And I wonder if America will ever see their like again.
God, I hope so. I fear we’ll need them again before my time on Earth is done.
Take time to remember today the sacrifices made by the generation of our fathers and grandfathers, and remember that freedom isn’t free. Sometimes it exacts a terrible price, but it’s one worth paying.
The children of the Greatest Generation understood that.
Do we?