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Remember Normandy – Forget Biden

Posted on Friday, May 31, 2024
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by AMAC, Robert B. Charles
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Having a wilted demagogue with five deferments, who just used West Point to trash his political opponent, who often denies, distorts, and disparages US history, law, and language – speak at Normandy on the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, is like having Neville Chamberlain talk about strength, laughable.  Nevertheless, Joe Biden will speak at the US Cemetery over Omaha Beach next week.

On June 6th, 1944, along a 50-mile beachhead, 160,000 Allied troops landed under withering fire from fixed, interlocking German machine gun nests and artillery, toughest at Omaha Beach.

Americans were assigned Omaha and Utah Beaches. More than 10,000 casualties occurred that day, 2,400 on Ohama. Riding the sea behind that massive assault were 7000 warships.

Early that morning, 800 aircraft – riddled with anti-aircraft fire – dropped 23,000 young men behind those beaches, on acreage backing onto thousands of acres of “hedgerows,” tall and impassable rectangles of ancient growth, interspersed with impassable flood plains – filled with Nazis.

The task was almost impossible. A smaller Canadian landing – at Dieppe, August 1942, two years prior – had failed, pushed into the sea. By June 1941, the US and Great Britain – FDR, Marshall, Ike, Bradley, Patton, and of course Churchill, felt it was “all or nothing,” “win or lose,” get ashore now to open a Western Front, matching the Soviets to the East, or fail. They could not fail, yet …they could.

That is why this day, above and beyond amphibious landings at Sicily, Anzio, across the hard-bitten Pacific, was critical. It was a test of America’s – and the Allies’ – resolve, done on an order never before seen in the history of warfare, nor since, and likely never to be seen again.

The scope, stakes, planning, and unwavering belief in the average (none were average that day) soldier, sailor, airman, and marine, was stunning, sobering, and even now hard to fathom. When everything requires winning, it is remarkable how a mind, heart, and soul focus. They did that day.

For those who doubt the solemnity, intensity, and magnitude of the day, or what followed, with 60,000 Allied casualties by Paris, consider rewatching Band of Brothers. I will this week. The lesson never grows old. The courage shown is never less than inspiring. What they did was superhuman.

Some may recall the opening scene from Tom Hanks’ Saving Private Ryan, commemorating and visualizing D-Day, the enormous human cost of securing liberty from a cruel, concentrated power.

In the 500-person town that is my home, in rural Maine, two dozen World War II vets were alive in my youth. Quiet, they had seen hell, had no need to discuss it. I worked for two, one a turret gunner, the other a signalman, and was taught by two, one at Iwo and Okinawa, the other on Omaha day one.

The one who had been on Omaha Beach, later father to six boys, had a wife whose brother was killed at Sicily saving his entire company, posthumously awarded the Distinguished Service Cross –the same medal Richard Winters received for heroism displayed in Band of Brothers.

That English teacher of mine, promoted to Captain on Omaha Beach, was asked by the son of his wife’s brother – the son who lost his father, who died saving his entire company in Sicily – if he would go with him to see Saving Private Ryan.

That veteran of Omaha Beach said he preferred not to. But asked again, given the enormity of the loss his nephew suffered, he rethought and said yes. They went, together. Afterward, my old English teacher was quiet. Finally, asked what he thought, he said just, “Hollywood often gets it wrong, but that opening scene they got right. That is exactly what it was like.” He did not talk about it again.

So, now we come to the 80th Anniversary of D-Day, remembered at a time when life and sacrifice are so often undervalued, and not honored. We think about those old men as boys, most now gone – who rose when needed, whose courage is why we have anything. They are worth the thought, worth a prayer, worth serious reflection and their memory not polluted, diminished, or exploited for politics.

Yet watch, we will see that speech by Biden twisted to serve his interests, sullying their sacred memory. So much of what he is and does conflicts with who they were and what they fought for. That is the truth.

We will see him reference democracy, which his own ideological behavior threatens, to attack his political opponents, imagining their pro-American, pro-liberty, pro-democracy views as a threat.

Like many Americans, I am sick of all this craven, hyper-political, dishonest twisting of words, and abuse of history to promote anti-constitutional, anti-historical, dishonest politics and the not-so-subtle concentration of power, which is not at all what these brave boys fought and died for.

So, my message: Remember the day, the boys, the values they held dear, the courage they showed in defense of freedom, theirs and ours. Remember the enormity of D-Day.  Forget the rest, the political junk, and distortions. Remember what matters, those who rose, fought, and died – for us. 

Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.

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SusanW
SusanW
19 days ago

Thank you, Robert, for this very important message. Yes, remember! In FDR’s prayer to the nation on June 6, 1944, he so passionately stated the following (it’s only a small portion) – “The road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph. They will be sore tried by night and by day, without rest – until the victory is won.” America must remember and find the courage and the fortitude to follow in these great warriors’ footsteps. The world is more dangerous and out of control now than it ever has been in the past! We are in great need of leaders with integrity and a vision of hope. In closing, “History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.” Maya Angelou
Stay optimistic and hopeful America!

Max
Max
19 days ago

RBC, thanks for a wonderful D-Day article. I have had the opportunity to visit the areas of Normandy during my tours with NATO. Visits were always solemn for the remembrance of those who fought and died on the beaches and bocages during the campaign. Your last paragraph is on the money.
As for Pres. Biden at West Point, I have friends whose grandson graduated and was commissioned there. They were not impressed with his speech. Oh, well.
Have a great Maine weekend!

Joe
Joe
19 days ago

Excellent article. Biden doesn’t deserve to be in the presence of the fallen warriors and the few heroes who remain with us today. They didn’t fight to see our country turn into the clown show it’s become, thanks to Joebama and his puppeteers. Will he be caught napping in his chair or looking at his watch during the ceremony? Utterly disgusting!

Tom
Tom
19 days ago

June 8, 1967,Remember the USS Liberty.

Lloyd Grisham
Lloyd Grisham
19 days ago

So well said and so sad that this country has come to this state in this time and place.

Kurt
Kurt
18 days ago

I remember vividly my military career. Nothing in comparison mind you to WWII including those who gave the ultimate sacrifice for the future of mankind. The words in the article of a ‘cruel, concentrated power’ rang true then, and (unfortunately) is rearing its ugly head once more.

I pray to God daily for his divine intervention from those that exploit tyranny, dictatorship and corruption upon society. May the Lord help us all!

P
P
19 days ago

Thank you.
I’m sad – in thought- – victorious in prayer.

P
P
19 days ago

Deputy Dawg-
If God can use a person as flawed as David, he can use a person with President Trump’s flaws. There is some Trump history you are missing, some sources you have not yet searched or researched. President Trump loves America. President Trump prays and is mightily prayed for.
Biden is prayed for too- around the clock- his researched choices seem to be reprobate and he mocks God. God doesn’t allow that.
As for Pro Choice- choose God.
Praying for you.

Deputy Dawg
Deputy Dawg
19 days ago

I’m a pro choice republican who will not be voting for either Biden or Trump. Robert Charles, if you really don’t want Biden, why the hell are you nominating Trump who is as weak a candidate as Biden? Explain that one. There are so many other qualified GOP candidates, but the GOP instead of being the party of limited government is the party of Donald J Trump. Now Trump is a 34 time felon. I wish a good third party candidate would get in there.

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