• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • June 2008
    M T W T F S S
  • Recommended Reading

Ronald Reagan’s D-Day Anniversary Speech

Ronald Reagan always appreciated the dedication of our men and women in uniform. He often spoke eloquently of their service and sacrifice. On the 40th anniversary of the D-Day invasion he stood on the beaches of Normandy to commemorate that anniversary with a speech at Pointe du Hoc, France. This was the site where U.S. Rangers battled to reclaim Europe from fascism.

“Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

“The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They thought — or felt in their hearts, though they couldn’t know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

“Something else helped the men of D-Day: their rock-hard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we’re about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: ‘I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.’ …

“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, heartened by their valor, and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.” (President Ronald Reagan)

On this day, as we remember the D-Day invasion of June 6, 1944, let us allow these words of President Ronald Reagan to sink deeply in our hearts as a reminder of who we are as a nation of people. By the grace and mercy of God, our history is one of noble accomplishments and freedoms won. The faith of our fathers set this nation on a hill like a shining city to serve as example for those of us who follow. We live in a time clouded by the confusion of those who would rewrite America’s history because they wish to rule over other men. President Reagan’s words should inspire us to rediscover who we are as Americans. We are not defined by the elitist intellects of this land. Rather, we are a people defined by our love of freedom and self-reliance. In our heritage and trust of our Creator, is the determination we must find if we are to face and defeat the new fascism that rises against us now.

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