A Time for Bravery in Our Time

A Time for Bravery Recognized

A time for bravery has just been recognized, to a small degree, and to a lesser degree each subsequent year, on June 6, 2015.  That day was the 71st anniversary of D-Day, the event where Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  This invasion became known as the largest seaborne operation in history.  More than 160, 000 soldiers stormed the beaches against Hitler’s German Nazi troops.  In this invasion approximately 9,000 Allied soldiers died.  However, this event, D-Day, is now seen as the turning point of Allied World War II victory.  United States General Dwight David Eisenhower was in charge of the invasion and recognized fully the significance and magnitude of the operation in his address to the troops – “the eyes of the world are upon you.”  He later became President of the United States (USA).

Presidential War Records

It is significant to note that following World War II, many of our national leaders were also military leaders – Eisenhower (President), Johnson (President), Nixon (President), Kennedy (President), Bush, George H.W. (President), Reagan (President), Bush, George W. (President) – and many others in various supporting roles.  These men were cognizant of the horrors of war and suffered the consequences.  It is hard to read descriptions of the gore and conduct of the D-Day invasion, as well as follow-on operations, without thoughts and tears for those brave individuals who committed all to the achievement of the objectives necessary to preserve the freedoms we now enjoy.  We can never know, fully, the suffering they endured.

Deficiencies of Leaders of Today

The leaders described above are very much contrasted with the leaders of today.  Most of the leaders of today, I believe, have never experienced the trials of war, or even of military service.  They have never made the commitment of their life to preserve freedom for the USA.  They seem more intent on the destruction of our freedoms bit-by-bit.  Ronald Reagan recognized the need of a time for bravery in our time in the following excerpt from one of his speeches supporting Barry Goldwater, prior to his own presidency.

1,2Alexander Hamilton warned us that a nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master and deserves one.  Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow.  Choosing the high road cannot eliminate that risk.  Already some of the architects of accommodation have hinted what their decision will be if their plan fails and we are faced with the final ultimatum.  The English commentator [Kenneth] Tynan has put it this way: he would rather live on his knees than die on his feet.  Some of our own have said “Better Red than dead.”  If we are to believe that nothing is worth the dying, when did this begin?  Should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery rather than dare the wilderness?  Should Christ have refused the Cross?  Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have refused to fire the shot heard ‘round the world?  Are we to believe that all the martyrs of history died in vain?

You and I have a rendezvous with destiny.  We can preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we can sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness.  If we fail, at least let our children and our children’s children say of us we justified our brief moment here.  We did all that could be done.

1Copyright 2012 Hillsdale College; The U.S. Constitution: A Reader.  CONSTITUTIONREADER.COM

2Excerpt from “A Time for Choosing” by Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004)

Read the whole speech at: http://online.hillsdale.edu/file/constitution-courses-library/constitution-101/week-9/A-Time-for-Choosing.pdf


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