Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

64th Anniversary of D-Day

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> 64th Anniversary of D-Day Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 12:23:00 AM   
Erik Rutins

 

Posts: 33811
Joined: 3/28/2000
From: Vermont, USA
Status: offline
One of the better speeches on the occasion. It saddens me that the WWII generation will soon be gone.

"Remarks at the U.S. Ranger Monument
Pointe du Hoc, France
June 6, 1984

One of two speeches commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the D-Day Invasion, this speech was delivered at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France, where veterans of the Normandy Invasion, and others, had assembled for the ceremony. Later during the day, President Reagan spoke at Omaha Beach, France.
1,988 words.

We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers--the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender's poem. You are men who in your "lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.''

I think I know what you may be thinking right now--thinking, "We were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.'' Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren't. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him--Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, "Sorry I'm a few minutes late,'' as if he'd been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he'd just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland's 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England's armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard's "Matchbox Fleet'' and you, the American Rangers.

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 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.''

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall Plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall Plan led to the Atlantic alliance--a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They're still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, Allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose--to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We've learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It's fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

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

Thank you very much, and God bless you all."


Note: The President spoke at 1:20 p.m. at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc, France, where veterans of the Normandy invasion had assembled for the ceremony.

Following his remarks, the President unveiled memorial plaques to the 2nd and 5th Ranger Battalions. Then, escorted by Phil Rivers, superintendent of the Normandy American Cemetery, the President and Mrs. Reagan proceeded to the interior of the observation bunker. On leaving the bunker, the President and Mrs. Reagan greeted each of the veterans.

Other Allied countries represented at the ceremony by their heads of state and government were: Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands, King Olav V of Norway, King Baudouin I of Belgium, Grand Duke Jean of Luxembourg, and Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau of Canada.



_____________________________

Erik Rutins
Director of Product Development


For official support, please use our Help Desk: http://www.matrixgames.com/helpdesk/

Freedom is not Free.
Post #: 1
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 1:54:06 AM   
Mac67

 

Posts: 494
Joined: 3/7/2006
From: Essex, England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
It saddens me that the WWII generation will soon be gone.


Since losing my Father a few months ago, a WW2 Merchant Navy veteran, I have felt that saddeness a lot of late.

But, as long as those of us who knew them in their life-times cherish their memory, they will never truely be gone.


_____________________________

"If you are going through hell, keep going" - Winston Churchill

The Rose and Crown, a forum for British Gentlemen

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 2
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 2:27:15 AM   
JudgeDredd


Posts: 8543
Joined: 11/14/2003
From: Scotland
Status: offline
God...do you know I was watching the 6th June come into view...waiting to pounce on the half innocent and tell them they should be rejoicing their freedom and, at the last jump, I fell and forgot myself.

God rest their souls.

(in reply to Mac67)
Post #: 3
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 2:31:04 AM   
flipperwasirish


Posts: 1724
Joined: 2/25/2003
From: The Nutmeg State
Status: offline
I didn't see this speech live, but I remember where I was when I read it in the paper.

It's hard to believe 24 years have passed, not to mention that 64 years have passed since D-Day (which is 16 more years than I have been alive).

_____________________________

Flipper

(in reply to Erik Rutins)
Post #: 4
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 5:46:30 AM   
Gem35


Posts: 3420
Joined: 9/12/2004
From: Dallas, Texas
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Mac67


quote:

ORIGINAL: Erik Rutins
It saddens me that the WWII generation will soon be gone.


Since losing my Father a few months ago, a WW2 Merchant Navy veteran, I have felt that saddeness a lot of late.

But, as long as those of us who knew them in their life-times cherish their memory, they will never truely be gone.


Sorry about your loss, Mac

_____________________________

It doesn't make any sense, Admiral. Were we better than the Japanese or just luckier?


Banner By Feurer Krieg

(in reply to Mac67)
Post #: 5
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 7:09:21 AM   
Titanwarrior89


Posts: 3149
Joined: 8/28/2003
From: arkansas
Status: offline
My father was one him self, who died some time ago.  They are leaving very fast.  It will leave a hole in this nation and all of the memories they take with them.

God Bless them and May God Bless America who they fought and died for.

_____________________________

"Before Guadalcanal the enemy advanced at his pleasure. After Guadalcanal, he retreated at ours".

"Mama, There's Rabbits in the Garden"

(in reply to Gem35)
Post #: 6
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 2:20:22 PM   
Grell

 

Posts: 1064
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: Canada
Status: offline
Rest in peace.

_____________________________


(in reply to Titanwarrior89)
Post #: 7
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/7/2008 8:04:51 PM   
SuluSea


Posts: 2246
Joined: 11/17/2006
Status: offline
They may be passing but their many sacrifices and deeds at a time when free nations were in peril will live on forever.


Days such as this remind everyone that the freedom we enjoy isn't free.






< Message edited by SuluSea -- 6/7/2008 8:10:33 PM >


_____________________________

[image]Freedom's back in style[/image]

(in reply to Grell)
Post #: 8
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/10/2008 4:00:40 PM   
105mm Howitzer


Posts: 447
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Montreal, Quebec
Status: offline
Somehow, I find it hard to tell my family's side of that whole WWII affair, what with them serving on the wrong side and all...And yet, not all were Nazis or Fascists or whatever. Many were also ordinary young men, forced ( yes forced) to march off or else...To them and to all noble men, you will have my gratitude forever.

_____________________________

"Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" - Publius Renatus, 390 A.D.

(in reply to SuluSea)
Post #: 9
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/10/2008 6:10:11 PM   
vonbert


Posts: 235
Joined: 5/20/2008
From: Torino - Piemont - Italia
Status: offline
Thanks for all the effort and sacrifice your G.I. did in that hard times.

As italian , i may also agree with what 105mm just said..
not all people here that time was fascist or nazi..
as many humans do.. some were just conformist, and try to live their time without problems.
The brother of my grand ma', age 24, had to go to Russia, with the improbable italian army.. (dressed in normal uniforms, with ww1 weapons..and with the myth to "convert" communist maybe) ..
It was in "Cuneense" Alpin troops division, form Cuneo province in Piedmont .
from 15.846 soldier, 1200 officers at 30 sept 1942..
in spring 1943 it had 13.470 dead and disperse, 2200 frozen, for a 15.600 total casualties.
They were among those sacrified in opening a way out at -30c° for the routed italian (and axis) armies.. 
and he was not among survivors.. never had any news.

Those who know something about Alpin italian troops know that they were, and are, not fascist at all.. just mountain people..
in fact those who did come back in general then become partisan over italian mountains.

But i'm sure many of us have many other sad history of this sort..

More lucky my grand father, invaded Corsica island, then abandoned there when 8 sept 1943 Italy capitulate..
then remained there maybe 1 year, with no supplies, fighting a "hunger" war with local farmer for food..
they were then saved by american army and brought to naples as "prisoner".. weeks had to be waited before they could eat normal food as they were all too much depleted..
but he was able to get home luckily







(in reply to 105mm Howitzer)
Post #: 10
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/11/2008 4:03:22 PM   
105mm Howitzer


Posts: 447
Joined: 8/9/2007
From: Montreal, Quebec
Status: offline
Hi Vonbert, I also know someone who passed away in 2000 who was with the Julia Alpini in Russia. He came back ( very lucky few) from that land, but never spoke a word of it. When I joined up, ( in Canada) I remember him looking at me in a weird way and ask me "why". That's all, just why...I understood then never to ask him about his war experiences.

_____________________________

"Si Vis Pacem, Para Bellum" - Publius Renatus, 390 A.D.

(in reply to vonbert)
Post #: 11
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/11/2008 9:48:34 PM   
mjk428

 

Posts: 1944
Joined: 6/15/2002
From: Western USA
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: 105mm Howitzer

Somehow, I find it hard to tell my family's side of that whole WWII affair, what with them serving on the wrong side and all...And yet, not all were Nazis or Fascists or whatever. Many were also ordinary young men, forced ( yes forced) to march off or else...To them and to all noble men, you will have my gratitude forever.


My family fought on both sides, although I mostly know of those on the Allied side.

Being Irish/German/Italian there's no telling how many family members we lost on the Axis side. My dad & his brothers always wondered if they ever shot at any cousins when they visited Europe.

One of my mom's cousin was killed in North Africa fighting on the Italian side. She describes him as a sweet kid with a nice smile. My grandfather had a picture of Mussolini hanging in the living room for years. He threw it against the wall on December 7th.


_____________________________


(in reply to 105mm Howitzer)
Post #: 12
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/12/2008 2:11:40 AM   
Sarge


Posts: 2841
Joined: 3/1/2003
From: ask doggie
Status: offline
Here’s my Grandfather in Normandy ………….502 / I co



Spending the summers on the farm we working side by side so I was lucky enough to hear many stories that would have gone with him to the grave, couple of times I was even lucky enough to be able to tagged along on the 502nd reunions.


Here’s his Dad in France 26 years earlier .........




quote:

ORIGINAL: SuluSea

They may be passing but their many sacrifices and deeds at a time when free nations were in peril will live on forever.


Days such as this remind everyone that the freedom we enjoy isn't free.



Very well stated

_____________________________


(in reply to mjk428)
Post #: 13
RE: 64th Anniversary of D-Day - 6/12/2008 10:08:55 PM   
andym


Posts: 1114
Joined: 7/12/2006
From: Kings Lynn UK
Status: offline
Ermmmmmmm,sarge was your great grandfather German?

_____________________________

Press to Test...............Release to Detonate!

(in reply to Sarge)
Post #: 14
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> 64th Anniversary of D-Day Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.145