Today, D-Day, we pause to remember the 6th of June, 1944 when thousands of courageous Allied troops faced almost certain death or injury as they stormed the beaches of occupied France.
Their courage changed the course of history.
General Eisenhower's Message Sent Just Before the Invasion
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened, he will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man to man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full victory!
Good Luck! And let us all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
~Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower
We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 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 machineguns 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 2 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.
(If you can't see the rest of the speech, please click the tiny "Read More" link below)
Memorial Day 2013
By: Edwin J. Feulner From: Heritage.org
When we think of heroes, what comes to mind? Some fictional good guy flying around in the latest big-screen comic-book adventure? Perhaps, but with the arrival of another Memorial Day, I’d like to suggest someone more fitting: a U.S. Navy SEAL named Mike Monsoor.
As former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld reminds us in his new book, “Rumsfeld’s Rules,” the SEALs go through the toughest training of any military unit in the world. It shows. Consider what happened with Mike.
Mike hailed from a family that knew a thing or two about service. His father was a Marine, and his mother was a social worker. He grew up fighting asthma, but persevered in high school to make the football team and become a superb athlete.
In March 2001, Mike made the courageous decision that millions of men and women, his father included, have made: to serve our country. He enlisted in the Navy.
Three years later, he passed the rigorous training that less than one-third of his fellow trainees finish to become a Navy SEAL. He was now a frogman, one of the members of the Navy’s elite forces. In spring 2006, he was deployed to Ramadi, Iraq, where he served as a machine-gunner and a communications operator in military operations against insurgents.
Through 35 heated firefights, his SEAL team remained undeterred by the enemy. On Sept. 29, 2006, Mike was providing security at a sniper lookout post with some other SEALs and eight Iraqi soldiers. As Mike and his team scanned the area for the enemy, an insurgent threw a fragmentation grenade at the team’s position.
The grenade hit Mike in the chest before falling to the ground. In an instant every man on that roof could have died. But Mike would not let that happen.
President George W. Bush described this SEAL’s act of courage at Mike’s Medal of Honor ceremony:
“Mike had a clear chance to escape, but he realized that the other two SEALs did not. In that terrible moment, he had two options — to save himself or to save his friends. For Mike, this was no choice at all. He threw himself onto the grenade and absorbed the blast with his body. One of the survivors put it this way: ‘Mikey looked death in the face that day and said, you cannot take my brothers. I will go in their stead.’”
Mike died 30 minutes later from wounds sustained from the blast. He’d saved the lives of his two teammates and the Iraqi army soldiers on that roof. This courage was not lost on his SEAL brethren. Mike’s funeral is thought to be the largest public gathering of SEALs in the history of the United States.
As the casket was taken from the hearse to the grave site, SEALs lined the path and slapped their Tridents, a pin with the official symbol of having completed SEAL training, onto the top of Mike’s coffin. Mr. Bush said, “The procession went on nearly half an hour, and when it was all over, the simple wooden coffin had become a gold-plated memorial to a hero who will never be forgotten.”
No one really understands how the bold colors of a hero’s soul are formed, but we do know that without heroes, our nation would not endure. As Winston Churchill said, “Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality that guarantees all others.”
Americans are courageous in many ways. There were the firemen who ran into the burning towers on Sept. 11, 2001, lugging their gear up dozens of flights of steps in an attempt to do what they’d sworn to do — protect and serve. There are the police and the military, running toward danger when others run away.
Few of us have that level of courage. Yet we demonstrate it in different ways. We say what we think, and we stand up for our beliefs. We’re willing to risk the criticism and the scorn of people who don’t share our ideals. When we’re wrong, we admit it.
When we think of the example of Mike Monsoor — and others like him, out there risking their lives for us, day after day — can we do any less?
The Price of Freedom: A Musical Tribute
My family attended the original performance of "The Price of Freedom," and although I've seen it many times since then, it always touches my heart and lifts my view.
It lasts less than an hour, but you will remember it for a long time.
From the site: "The Price of Freedom
is first and foremost a tribute to those who served in World War II and the loved ones they left behind. It could be called a piece of musical theater, since its story is told largely through song, but it differs from traditional musical theater in a few key ways.
First, it is performed as a concert—not as a dramatic piece—with just 9 actor/singers and an orchestra. There are no costumes or sets to distract from the message. Rather than perform as
the characters in the stories, the actors perform in tribute to them, with nothing but the words and music written to tell their stories.
Second, the performance has a 'documentary' element to it. The actors’ stories are brought to life by authentic newsreels, photos and radio broadcasts from the time period, which transport the audience back to era of the 'greatest generation,' and make the experience that much more real.
Lastly, there is no dialogue or physical interaction between the characters. The interaction takes place entirely through letters written between the battlefield and the homefront. In this way, we watch each character’s very personal and intimate reaction to the events of the story as they unfold. We hear
the words they wrote and see
the meaning behind them.
All of these elements combine to make The Price of Freedom
a very unique and powerful blend of original music, documentary footage, and simple storytelling to create an emotional message of hope and gratitude.
The concert follows three stories that ultimately intertwine: an expectant wife sending off her husband to Europe (David & Arline), a widowed mother seeing her only two sons off to the Pacific (Mrs. Miller, Steven and Jack), and a young girl sending her boyfriend off to fight (Shep & Ellen). The Price of Freedom
is the result of a collaboration between composer Rob Gardner and songwriter McKane Davis. The show first premiered in November 2002. Since then, it has been performed live for audiences across the country. The response afterward from the tearful patrons is invariably: 'This is something that everyone in America needs to experience.
Note: The Price of Freedom
is divided into 12 videos here. If you can't see all of the videos, click the tiny "Read More" link on the right below.
(If you can't see the rest of the videos, please click the tiny red "Read More" link below.)
Col. Tom Manion, USMCR (Ret.), wrote in The Wall Street Journal
about the remarkable men and women in uniform and what they give for our great nation. He should know -- his son gave his life in Iraq in 2007.
"I served in the military for 30 years. But it was impossible to fully understand the sacrifices of our troops and their families until April 29, 2007, the day my son, First Lt. Travis Manion, was killed in Iraq.
"Travis was just 26 years old when an enemy sniper's bullet pierced his heart after he had just helped save two wounded comrades. ...
"While my son's life was relatively short, I spend every day marveling at his courage and wisdom. Before his second and final combat deployment, Travis said he wanted to go back to Iraq in order to spare a less-experienced Marine from going in his place. His words -- 'If not me, then who...' -- continue to inspire me.
"My son is one of thousands to die in combat since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. ...
"When my son died in Iraq, his U.S. Naval Academy roommate, Brendan Looney, was in the middle of BUD/S (basic underwater demolition) training to become a Navy SEAL. Devastated by his good friend's death, Brendan called us in anguish, telling my wife and me that losing Travis was too much for him to handle during the grueling training regimen.
"Lt. Brendan Looney overcame his grief to become 'Honor Man' of his SEAL class, and he served in Iraq before later deploying to Afghanistan. On Sept. 21, 2010, after completing 58 combat missions, Brendan died with eight fellow warriors when their helicopter crashed in Zabul province. He was 29. Brendan and Travis now rest side-by-side in Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. ...
"Even after more than a decade of war, these remarkable men and women are still stepping forward. As the father of a fallen Marine, I hope Americans will treat this Memorial Day as more than a time for pools to open, for barbecues or for a holiday from work. It should be a solemn day to remember heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice, and also a stark reminder that our country is still at war."
This song is dedicated to all men and women, past and present,
who so valiantly fight for our safety and freedom. Thank you!
"Promise me that you won’t think of Chris solely as a hero. He wouldn’t want that.
"Instead, I ask you to see him the way he would’ve wanted you to see him. As just an everyday boy who did his best at what he loved, growing into an everyday man, loving his God, loving his country…and loving his family."
Chris Kyle's wife, Taya, gave a wonderful message at the NRA event this week.
Chris was killed in February when he was shot by a veteran who was going through a tough time. Chris devoted himself to trying to help soldiers heal from emotional or physical wounds they received while serving in the military.
Chris Kyle truly loved and cared for his brothers in the military and gave his life to help them.
Picture Courtesy of The Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US)
By: Mark Alexander From: The Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US)
Today we observe the National Day of Prayer
, but if you're active duty or reserve military, you'd better not mention that to any of your fellow compatriots in uniform, or invite them to join in a prayer vigil, lest you find yourself in front of a military tribunal.
You read that correctly. It is no small irony this week that the Obama administration is suppressing faith rather than celebrating it.
The Left is constantly endeavoring to replace Rule of Law
with the rule of men
. Because the former is predicated on the principle of Liberty "endowed by our Creator," Obama's administrators constantly look for ways to undermine Rule of Law by driving wedges between our Liberty and its foundational endowment
The highest profile and most influential sector of government, where Obama and his cadres can exercise the greatest degree of immediate dictatorial power in order to dislocate that endowment, is the Department of Defense.
In 2010, unable to reverse the Defense of Marriage Act (an affirmation of timeless principles upheld by all faiths), Obama called on his party-controlled House and Senate to force the institutionalization of gender-disorientation pathology
in the military ranks -- a brazen internal assault on military order.
In a last legislative act on behalf of his most flamboyant constituency, Democrats passed and Obama signed his "do ask -- do tell
" legislation -- just days before the resounding Republican 2010 midterm takeover in the House.
At that time, Obama declared, "This law will strengthen our national security" -- this despite the fact that the greatest military breach of national security in history, the release of volumes of classified reports to WikiLeaks info anarchist Julian Assange, had just been allegedly committed by Army PFC Bradley Manning, because he was disgruntled over the breakup with his homosexual partner.
Republicans may now control the House, but that isn't stopping Obama from a far bolder assault on Liberty and our military -- one that requires no legislative approval from Congress: expelling God from the trenches.
Under the pretense of "tolerance" and comporting with the errant assertion of a "Wall of Separation
" grossly distorting the First Amendment's
succinct provision that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," Obama has decreed the removal of any expression or manifestation of faith within the ranks of the U.S. military.
From Day One of the Obama regime's rise to power, there have been numerous instances of incremental implementation of this assault on faith within the ranks, and the Air Force has been the administration's primary target since it is considered to be the most "faith-saturated" branch of service.
For example, at the Air Force Academy, we discovered that the words "so help me God" have been deleted from the cadet handbook's text of the cadet Oath of Allegiance and the officer Oath of Office. When The Patriot Postinquired with the AFA's public affairs office as to why those words had been removed from the handbook, the PAO dodged the question and tersely responded that we could file a "Freedom of Information Act" request. In other words: "Take a hike."
Obama's latest endeavor to eradicate expressions of faith by military personnel, however, is neither subtle nor incremental.
(If you cannot see the rest of this article, please click the tiny "Read More" link below.)
Special thanks to the Patriot Post (PatriotPost.US)
This article originally appeared in The Patriot Post on February 4, 2013
Former Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, a Patriot from Texas and author of the outstanding book, "American Sniper," was killed Saturday while assisting fellow veterans suffering from PTSD. Chris served with the SEAL Team 3 Sniper Element Charlie platoon, and was the most lethal sniper in U.S. history, with 160 confirmed kills and another 95 probables. He was known to his enemies as Al-Shaitan Ramad (The Devil of Ramadi).
In 2008, near Sadr City, Chris neutralized an RPG-carrying insurgent at more than 2,000 meters with his Lapua Magnum .338 PGM. During his four combat tours, Chris was shot twice and survived six IED explosions. He left military service three years ago after earning two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation. He has devoted much of the last three years to working with fellow vets suffering from PTSD.
Chris leaves behind his wife Taya, two children, and a long list of family and friends. Kyle was a tireless defender of Liberty and the Second Amendment, and he will be sorely missed.
Chris Kyle, from his book, "American Sniper":
"At another location, we found barrels of chemical material that was intended for use as biochemical weapons. Everyone talks about there being no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, but they seem to be referring to completed nuclear bombs, not the many deadly chemical weapons or precursors that Saddam had stockpiled. ... The rules are drawn up by lawyers who are trying to protect the admirals and generals from the politicians; they're not written by people who are worried about the guys on the ground getting shot. ...
"I didn't risk my life to bring democracy to Iraq. I risked my life for my buddies, to protect my friends and fellow countrymen. I went to war for my country, not Iraq. My country sent me out there so that bull---t wouldn't make its way back to our shores. ... People tell me I saved hundreds and hundreds of people. But I have to tell you: it's not the people you saved that you remember. It's the ones you couldn't save. Those are the ones you talk about. Those are the faces and situations that stay with you forever. ...
"Another question people ask a lot: Did it bother you killing so many people in Iraq? I tell them, 'No.' And I mean it. The first time you shoot someone, you get a little nervous. You think, can I really shoot this guy? Is it really okay? But after you kill your enemy, you see it's okay. You say, Great. You do it again. And again. You do it so the enemy won't kill you or your countrymen. You do it until there's no one left for you to kill. That's what war is. ... Just because war is hell doesn't mean you can't have a little fun. ...
"I've lived the literal meaning of the 'land of the free' and 'home of the brave.' It's not corny for me. I feel it in my heart. I feel it in my chest. Even at a ball game, when someone talks during the anthem or doesn't take off his hat, it pisses me off. I'm not one to be quiet about it, either."
On Obama's gun control agenda, Kyle said recently, "I know he is against the Second Amendment and he is trying to ban everything. ... The ban is just opening the door to take more of our rights. Our Founding Fathers had the same weapons the military did, and we don't even have that today, but don't try to take what I have. ... Switzerland has a very low crime rate because everyone has an automatic weapon [as part of the Swiss national militia]. So everyone is armed."