The year, as you should know already was 1944 and it marked one of the largest invasive forces ever launched in the history of modern warfare. Thousands of US troops and thousands more of European soldiers landed in France by air and sea. It was D-Day, June 6th, 1944. It changed the way the United States prepared for military combat and swayed the outcome of World War II.
To all of our military I say thank you. To the veterans of WWII, their wives, and their children, I say thank you as well. To the brave men who stormed the beaches of Normandy across Omaha beach and Utah beach, it’s an amazing thing that you accomplished. Thank you.
Today marks the anniversary of that war changing invasion. We have celebrated it with movies from D-Day, “The Longest Day“, “Saving Private Ryan“, and “Band of Brothers”. But very few of us really get to reach out our hand and shake those of someone actually there. While today is all about them, I can’t help but use it as context to something so frivolous of what we have today.
I remember reading the final passages of Bill Guarnere and Babe Hefron‘s book, “Brothers in Battle” based on their experiences with the 101′st Airborne unit from D-Day to the end of the war. As they sat in a park watching the world move around them decades later, they wondered if what they fought for was worth it. It was. But you can’t help but wonder if when they see players and owners fighting over billions and a government that is teetering on financial collapse, if fighting so that a New York Wall Street banker can bilk average people out of money is really worth it.
This isn’t a political piece and I don’t mean to go in that direction. But I see players and owners squabbling over 350,000 dollars at last proposal and wonder why? I see President Obama offer 1 billion dollars in aid to a foreign company and laugh that 1 billion buys aid to another nation but 1 billion can’t be split between 1900 NFL players and 32 owners…without having a work stoppage.
It’s a joke.
Instead of spending my day watching “Old Glory” wave in the wind off my front porch step while I watch the history channel and raise my glass to the men and women who served this country in WWII…like both of my grandfathers, I get to think of the frivolous arguing by attorneys over money that will not benefit them in the end. Yet both sides would rather let the lawyers do their business for them.
So today, I think I will just step down off the pulpit, and do exactly what I said I wasn’t doing. Watching the red, white, and blue gently sway in the breeze contrasted against a light blue sky, raise a glass and toast those who fought for my freedom, and watch the history channel instead of ESPN.
Thank you Veterans, you are not forgotten, you will always be remembered, and to some of us, you are the real hero’s that I hope my son emulates as he gets older.