What Cruelty In Ourselves, Mr. President?
by Joseph A. Rehyansky 06/08/2009
Mr. Rehyansky is retired from the U.S. Army and the Chattanooga, Tennessee, District Attorney's office and now serves as a part-time County Magistrate. He is a former contributor to National Review, and his writings have appeared in The American Spectator and other publications.
D-Day + 20. Years, that is. CBS ran a one-hour special hosted by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower. It would be his last trip to the Normandy beaches that his troops captured at such terrible cost. Only one memory lingers: Ike waved his hand over a big stretch of beach. â€œHere, you could hardly find sand to walk on for the American dead.â€
D-Day + 40. President Ronald Reagan addressed veterans of the invasion at the place where it began. He spoke of the valor of the Rangers, boys mostly, who scaled the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc. There were 225 of them at dawn. The next day 90 were fit to bear arms. He asked them: â€œWhy 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.â€ His entire speech is still worth reading.
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Pointe du Hoc, Omaha Beach and American cemetery Normandy