“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.
“You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.”
The preceding quote was taken from a speech given on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day at Pointe Du Hoc by Ronald Reagan. Few speeches echo the sentiment that should be expressed by all Americans, whether they believe in the cause for which we are fighting or not. America’s soldiers exemplify the traits of selflessness and generosity. They deserve our respect and our gratitude for being willing to put themselves in harm’s way when the call comes.
John 15:13 – “Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
So from the bottom of my heart, I wish to extend my most sincere gratitude for the sacrifices you have made, are making, and will make on behalf of this country. The same gratitude goes out to those families who have husbands, wives, sisters, brothers, cousins, fathers, and mothers who elect to serve and for all you are also required to sacrifice.