Liberating Europe

So, this week (and a busy one it’s been) has been the Supreme Court, the witchhunt, NATO, and Trump in the UK. They’re all related.

The Court comes down to Constitutional issues, all else is simply a screaming match. The American Spectator puts it well.

Lost is this kind of debate is what should be its proper focus: a debate over governmental structure. In short, we are increasingly losing sight of what our Constitution actually is.

Our federal Constitution is in form a governmental charter (as are state constitutions, but leave them aside here). The Framers of 1787 had studied history intently, and derived lessons from earlier efforts to form a just government, from ancient Greece and Rome to the Articles of Confederation.

Thus, its first three Articles divide powers into legislative, executive, and judicial. Legislators make laws; the executive administers and enforces them; and the judiciary interprets legal/policy terms, their application and (more controversially) in selected cases, their result.

The article is well worth reading.

What we have seen in the last hundred years is that the left, unable to do what they want legislatively, because of both votes and constitutional prohibitions, has taken to legislating from the bench, by nine non-elected robed figures. That is not what the founders envisioned, and the fight to return to that vision will continue.

The witchhunt is a last gasp (hopefully) effort by the elites, the Deep State, whatever term you prefer to continue to rule without reference to the people’s desire. It must be and is likely to be won, but it will be a hard and long slog.

It dovetails into NATO and Trump in Europe quite neatly. Daniel Greenfield explains.

Momentum, the anti-Semitic left-wing hate group, Stop the War’s Trotskyists, the UK version of the pro-Farrakhan racist Women’s March, and the freeloaders of the Trades Union Congress will be part of a London mob of an estimated 50,000 preparing to protest President Trump’s existence.

While the leftist mobs have been unleashed, pro-Trump protesters were leashed. A handful of supporters stood outside Blenheim Palace. One wore a clearly homemade “Britain Loves Trump” sign. The scrawled shapeless heart was in sharp contrast to the professionally designed and mass produced “Dump Trump” signs waved by grim-faced leftists on the verge of breaking into Labour’s, “The Red Flag.” […]

The anti-Trump marchers are a minority machine of massive lefty groups and internationally famous QUANGOs while the handful of pro-Trump supporters speak for a silent majority that is losing its country. And to them, Trump, like Brexit, represents the will of the people against the powerful elites.

The intersection between Trump and Brexit has always been a powerful one.

Brexit and Trump were both dismissed as marginal extremism by the media, but had the support of the people. The elites have struck back by accusing both Trump and Brexit of Russian conspiracy theories. The real sin of both the big ‘T’ and the big ‘B’ is that they reverse the leftist course of history which is meant to run away from nations and into mass borderless conglomerations like the EU or NAFTA.

As Prime Minister May stands accused of betraying Brexit, Trump’s visit is an unwelcome reminder that it is possible for leaders to listen to the people, instead of to the smart set and its media monarchies.

President Trump has been accused of attacking Europe by challenging the usefulness and legitimacy of outmoded international groupings like the EU and NATO. But he isn’t attacking Europe; he’s liberating it from its dogmas and bureaucracies, from red flag waving QUANGOs and mandatory government media.

The transatlantic relationship had fossilized into an arrangement where American firepower protected European socialism and the American economy financed European international organizations. The WTO, the IMF and the World Bank were built on the backs of American workers. The multi obsessions of Europe’s leftist elites were embraced by Democrats from FDR to JFK, from Clinton to Obama.

Europe got a free ride, but its individual nations, with the exception of Germany, lost out. Industries collapsed, jobs vanished and the welfare states only bred malaise and misery. By the time the wholesale Islamic invasion of Europe was underway, its working class cities and towns were even worse off than their American Rust Belt counterparts while their farmers had been reduced to tourist attractions.

The pro-Trump marchers come from the same working class as Tommy Robinson. They’re worlds away from the angry students working on degrees in ethnoecology and waving mass produced placards.  The two Britains that collided over Brexit are clashing once again over Trump. One is the borderless Britain of the QUANGO, the transnational red flag and the Muslim migrant. The other is fighting for its life.

Trump is a powerful symbol of people power. And that symbol raises fear and hope in the UK.

All of this is demonstrably true. And you know, the leftists in the streets of London looked just as foolish and childish as they do in the States. And for those of us who have conservative friends in the UK (and especially England), we are seeing the old pattern, the Midlands, the North, and the East are combining to start the process of Making Britain Great Again. This is the very combination that once upon a time, when America was merely a gleam in Freedom’s eye, toppled and executed a King of England and Scotland. One who thought his authority came from God, Himself. For the first time, it was demonstrated that the people are sovereign.

Will that happen again? No, HMQ has been very thoroughly defenestrated, and besides, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn she agrees with her people. But the political hacks would be wise to check six. They won’t though, they really do think they are the wave of the future. But they’re not, they are the bad old days, come back to haunt us.

Daniel Greenfield again:

 As Marine One flies over Britain while red-faced reds scream futile insults at the sky, carve obscene crop circles, and beat pots and pans in the street, they know that an unstoppable wave of change is breaking over Britain.

Despite what Bernie Sanders will tell you, socialism has failed in Europe. Its blight isn’t as obvious to American tourists as it is in Cuba, Venezuela or North Korea, but it has, to paraphrase Thatcher, taken the socialists of London, Berlin and Brussels longer to run out of other people’s money. […]

The European nation-state, once the backbone of western civilization, cannot rise again as long as it’s dependent on the United States. The cycle of dependency and loathing expressed at its best and worst between the US and the UK is dysfunctional and cannot last. Trump’s message is that it’s ending.

A nation cannot respect itself or respect others until it is independent of them. Brexit is the first step, but not the last, to the rebirth of the Britain whose new day will light a fresh blaze of national glories.

He’s right, spot on right. And once again, on that day, the Anglo-Saxon will still again have saved Europe.

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1776, and a Travel Warning

 

 

 

 

 

And thus it started. If you haven’t seen the movie, do find it.

As Winston Churchill reflected on July fourth, 1918

“The Declaration of Independence is not only an American document. It follows on Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights as the third great title-deed on which the liberties of the English-speaking people are founded. By it we lost an Empire, but by it we also preserved an Empire. By applying its principles and learning its lesson we have maintained our communion with the powerful Commonwealths our children have established beyond the seas…We therefore join in perfect sincerity and simplicity with our American kith and kin in celebrating the auspicious and glorious anniversary of their nationhood.”

Loud, Proud, and Rowdy, and on a Mission

242 years ago today, a document was read out by the town crier in Center City Philadelphia. That document was and is America’s Mission statement. This is it:

In Congress, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Seal_of_Virginia.svgOf course, it had been building up to that point for years, the shooting had started over a year earlier, when an unlawful government in Massachusetts tried to disarm the people. but in truth the roots were deeper still than that. If one were to look at the Massachusetts state seal, one would find Liberty, with a sword in one hand and Magna Charta in the other, or one could look at Virginia’s state seal.

Because this marked the start of the second of the three cousin’s wars and was almost the English Civil War, all over again. Again the cause was the rights of freemen, and this time not amongst the relatively calm precincts of England but here where men had learned to breathe free, and already knew the timeless cry of the American to his government, “Leave me alone!”

And so came one of America’s most heartbreaking wars, where we gave up that of which we were most proud, our Britishness, to preserve our English rights. It was hard, and it pretty much ended here.

Tom Paine had it pretty much right when he said, “You can’t conquer an idea with an army.” I’m sure that a few shades of Stuart kings agreed with him. Where that idea went is a modern legend.

4 July 1776 fired off a crazy rocking rolling ride that hasn’t stopped ‘stirring things up’ on a global scale.

Advancing arrogance into an art form with a remarkable relentless risque commitment to liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, and laissez-faire values. 

America differs qualitatively from all other nations, because of her unique origins, nat’l credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions.

Great Satan is magically especial because she was a country of immigrants and the first modern democracy. 

Loud, proud and rowdy – early America forecast future stuff with a provocative lingo that still fits today. “Don’t Tread On Me!” “Liberty Or Death”, “Live Free Or Die” 

Great Satan’s superiority of the American xperiment is reflected in the perception among Americans of America’s role in the world. That American foreign policy is based on moral principles is a consistent theme in the American hot diplopolititary gossip – a phenomenon recognized even by those who are skeptic of such an assessment. 

This inclination to do right has been virtually unique among the nations of the world – and for this very reason – America has been totally misunderstood. How could a nation so rich, so successful actually, really be so unselfish and so caring?

Unconvincing (and either historically igno – or deceitfully dishonest – either term will do) critics cry Great Satan must have darker motives! America must be seeking imperium – to dominate everyone else, suck up all the oil, to trade and rob blind for America’s selfish purposes. 

People from more grasping, less idealistic societies find it nigh impossible to accept that America honestly believes that giving everyone opportunity is the real roadmap for abundance and happiness everywhere – not merely in the magical Great Satan.

Americans honestly believe that securing other people’s freedom is actually like the best guarantee that America can keep her own. […]

Creative destruction is Great Satan’s middle name. It is her natural function, for she is the one truly revolutionary country in the world for more than 2 centuries. 

She does it automatically, and that is precisely why creeps and tyrants hate her guts, and are driven to attack her. An enormous advantage, despots fear her, and oppressed peoples want what she offers: freedom. 

Amazingly, some suspect states, illegit leaders and some people have not yet comprehended that America’s primary intention is to preserve and keep our own land and liberty and all it’s prosperity and that America will do anything and go anywhere to make it happen.

From Great Satan’s Girlfriend, Thanks, Courtney!

So, sit back, enjoy the hotdogs and beer, and the baseball and the beer. We’ve got some problems that Tom Jefferson and the boys in Philadelphia would understand, we’ll get them sorted eventually, I reckon. Meantime the band’s playing our song.

happy-birthday-americaFirst published on 4 July 2015 at All along the Watchtower.

Of Vikings and the Cavalry

St Ragner’s Shrine

In a recent article on the immortal Custer, my old friend, The Practical Historian said this, “Remembrance is not history, but the American mind needs both.” He’s right, and we’ll come back to this.

We’ve talked of this fairly often here, we’ve talked about the myth of the west as portrayed by John Ford and John Wayne, and the romance of the Alamo, and not only for Texans. But it’s not just Americans.

Another blogfriend of mine, Eleanor Parker, the author of The Clerk of Oxford, recently wrote a post on St. Ragner of Northampton, a very local saint, indeed. She’s also plugging her book,  Dragon Lords: The History and Legends of Viking England, that link is to Amazon.co.uk, here is the US one, sadly not available here until September 30, although you can order from Amazon UK. I doubt I can wait! 🙂

In any case:

 

Almost all we know about St Ragner comes from a short Latin text, surviving in two late-medieval manuscripts, which describes how his relics were supposedly discovered at St Peter’s Church in Northampton in the 11th century. The only information this text provides about Ragner’s identity is the claim that he was the nephew of the more famous St Edmund of East Anglia, who was killed by a Viking army in 869. It says that Ragner died alongside him and was therefore a martyr and saint, though no other source mentions this or gives Edmund a relation of this name.

The text has much less to say about Ragner himself than about the discovery of his relics. This rather touching story involves a series of visions revealed to a simple but devout Norwegian man living in Northampton, who is miraculously shown where the martyr, unknown to anyone else, is buried in the church. He persuades the priest of St Peter’s to excavate the spot, where they find the relics and an inscription explaining the saint’s connection to St Edmund. It is a reward for the patient devotion of the unnamed Norwegian man, whom no one had taken seriously until his visions were thus proved true.

St Edmund was a hugely popular saint in Anglo-Saxon and Norman England, although he was later supplanted by St George.

Who was this mysterious St Ragner? Since St Edmund was so popular, medieval hagiographers provided him with a number of saintly relations for whom there is no historical basis. But in Ragner’s case, his name and the connection to St Edmund hint at something more interesting: a possible link with medieval legends about the Viking hero Ragnar Lothbrok.

The Ragnar of Old Norse sagas was certainly no saint, nor a relative of St Edmund. However, two men whom medieval legend called ‘the sons of Ragnar’, Ivar and Ubbe, were said in Scandinavian and English tradition to be responsible for St Edmund’s death and legend explained their relationship with him in various ways. Ragnar Lothbrok in medieval English sources, especially ones linked to the cult of St Edmund, is very different from the equivalent figure in Norse tradition, famous today from the TV series Vikings. In East Anglian stories Lothbrok sometimes appears not as a fearsome Viking but as Edmund’s friend and protégé, who turns up at his court by accident and is cruelly murdered by one of Edmund’s men. His murder leads his sons Ivar and Ubbe to avenge his death by killing Edmund and invading East Anglia in retribution.

If so, then this very local saint in England almost forgotten, is also a TV star, the very Ragnar Lothbrok of the TV series Vikings. Remembrance is not history, but often it bears on how we see ourselves.

And back to Custer: The Historian says this:

Was Custer a villain? Does he represent the evils of American expansion?… Such histrionics sell books, inspire ambitious filmmakers, and rouse the irritable activists; but little understanding is actually achieved.  Custer was an ambitious military officer who saw the Plains Wars as an avenue to personal advancement.  But, he was also a frontiersman who sympathized with the plight of a complex foe.  He was a soldier fighting a complex war few people adequately understood, himself included.  Yet, Custer lives on.  He lives on in our memory, exactly where we can imagine him; trotting at head of the 7th Cavalry, wind whipping through his long hair,  the airs of “Garry Owen” whistling over the plains.   Remembrance is not history, but the American mind needs both.

Indeed so, that is how I see him in my mind’s eye. And you know, I suspect that many historians are historians because they fell in love with the romance of history, not to mention its Sagamen, not all of whom were Vikings.

He and Ragnar have much to talk about at Fiddler’s Green

Sound Garry Owen, and launch the longships, the adventures of the English Speaking people are far from over.

The Lion Awakens

We touched yesterday on the whole Tommy Robinson thing, and there is more to say, best said from America, although many of my British readers will, I think, quietly agree.

You may have heard, and I referred to, the demonstrations Whitehall, just outside the fenced off Downing Street, itself a reminder of the problems that Muslim immigration has brought. The British are possibly the most polite amongst us (except of course at football matches) 🙂 But they have their limits.

Joshuapundit writing on Watcher of Weasels has more and some videos.

Tens of thousands of Brits attended a demonstration in London to free Tommy Robinson yesterday and it was not your typical demonstration. These people were energized and angry. Here’s is Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who addressed the crowd:

Here’s what the crowd looked like outside Number 10 Downing Street, the Prime Minister’s residence. The ‘Tommy Tommy’ chant will be familiar to those familiar with Brit football chants:

When the London Police tried to suppress things, the crowd actually attacked them and a number of the police simply ran from the crowd.

Now, we’ve seen the British police run from Muslim mobs before. But this is the first time they’ve ever had to run from the British people. And high time too. They’re going to have to decide whose side they’re on.

The cops finally regrouped to block the demonstrators as they approached Buckingham Palace while the royal family was present inside.

British media is covering this as ‘a small demonstration of far right groups’ if they’re covering it at all. You take a look at these videos and tell me this was a small demonstration!

Emphasis mine.

Which is, of course, Fake News, the BBC, in particular, is every bit as adept at it as their buddies at CNN. But the truth stands on its own. Here are the videos:

 

And

 

Joshuapundit makes another point as well.

This whole scenario was so obviously reminiscent of the way Stalin used to handle this sort of thing that even a number of people on the Left who are not Tommy Robinson fans in the least are upset by it.

My original thought was that Robinson’s fate was a warning to others that you too can disappear and the papers won’t even write about it. They wanted to make an example out of him. They were probably going to wait a few months for the furor to die down and then have Tommy Robinson conveniently murdered in prison.

That plan seems to have failed miserably. Instead, they have made Tommy Robinson far more popular and a symbol of how the UK  is no longer a free country. If they keep him locked up or if they free him, he will remain a popular hero. And I don’t doubt they realize that murdering him in prison would make him a martyr as well.

Much as I hate to say it, I agree with him. This was an attempt to ‘disappear Tommy Robinson’. But thanks to the internet and some intrepid Britons not only are demonstrations happening in Whitehall but in San Francisco, in Sydney, in fact, wherever free men gather.

I think the elite in Britain have gotten so far from their roots, that they have forgotten the ancient wisdom of the people, who led us all to freedom. Rudyard Kipling put it best.

It was not part of their blood,
It came to them very late,
With long arrears to make good,
When the Saxon began to hate.

They were not easily moved,
They were icy — willing to wait
Till every count should be proved,
Ere the Saxon began to hate.

Their voices were even and low.
Their eyes were level and straight.
There was neither sign nor show
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not preached to the crowd.
It was not taught by the state.
No man spoke it aloud
When the Saxon began to hate.

It was not suddently bred.
It will not swiftly abate.
Through the chilled years ahead,
When Time shall count from the date
That the Saxon began to hate.

#Free Tommy

ps: Yes, the summit. I haven’t enough information yet to have a valid opinion, maybe tomorrow.

The Mighty Endeavor

My traditional post for June 6th, seen most years…

General Eisenhower speaks with members of the ...General Eisenhower speaks with members of the 101st Airborne Division on the evening of 5 June 1944 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Prologue:

Seventy-four years ago, night before last a Royal Air Force Group Captain delivered a weather briefing to an obscure American general. The general had an operation planned and the weather was very iffy. But, that general, who was a staff major in 1940 said, “OK, let’s go”

And so after planning and deception efforts reaching back to before Pearl Harbor, an operation was launched. It would invade France’s Normandy peninsula. Its name was OVERLORD.

It was a huge risk, and there was no ‘Plan B’. If it failed, obviously that general’s career would end, his name was Eisenhower, by the way, so would his boss’s General Marshall, and probably his boss Franklin Roosevelt, for this was 1944, and it was an election year. The Prime Minister, and government, of the United Kingdom, would fall.

But the real damage was none of these, these were individual men, and their fate, while important, was not critical. What was critical was that Central and Western Europe would become the prize of the war between Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. This was the very last chance for freedom in and of the west.

And so, in one of history’s momentous decisions, GEN Eisenhower said, “OK, let’s go”.

For planning purposes, everything had been planned to happen so many days before or after the day of execution, which up till that time had always been called “D-Day”. It never would be again. Because it was a singular operation, unlike anything seen before, and never seen again.

Prelude

Starting at about 0200 on Tuesday, the sixth of June, 1944, forever afterward known as D-Day, the United States 82d Airborne Division, and the 101st Airborne Division, the British 6th Airborne Division, the Canadian 1st Parachute Battalion, and other attached units parachuted into Normandy, more than 13,000 paratroopers. carried by 925 C-47 aircraft. The drops were badly scattered by winds and flak but eventually, the units were able to consolidate and achieve their objectives. They also demonstrated how disruptive “little groups of paratroopers” can be to an enemy. They were joined later in the day by another 4000 glider-borne troops.

Shortly after 0630, the American 2d Ranger Battalion landed at Pointe de Hoc to begin their epic, and costly battle to take the bluffs, which held 6 German 155 mm guns.

The Main Event

U.S. Army troops wade ashore on Omaha Beach on the morning of 6 June 1944, although planned for the morning of 5 June, but delayed one day due to weather in France.

Gold, Sword, Juno, Omaha, and Utah, are now names which will live forever in the iconography of freemen, but on 6 June 1944, they were merely code names, for the five beaches. At early dawn Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsey gave the order to launch the invasion, I like to think that he actually used the traditional naval command, “Land the Landing Party”. If so, what a landing party: From the United States: 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division. From the British Army: 3rd British Infantry Division,  50th British Infantry Division. From the Canadian Army the  3rd Canadian Infantry Division. They were supported by 12,000 aircraft under Air Marshal Sir Trafford Leigh-Mallory, coming from the 8th United States Army Air Force, the 9th United States Army Air Force and the Royal Air Force’s 2d Tactical Air Force. The invasion fleet consisted of over 6,300 vessels ranging from battleships like the USS Texas to LCVPs that could land a squad of infantry.

It was a very near run event, as the current was high, the water was choppy, and the Germans had been reinforced. 12 Medals of Honor were won this day, including one by Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt, Jr., (awarded posthumously) as well as a Victoria Cross. But the lodgment was secured and 11 months later Nazi Germany surrendered.

They went into battle with a prayer from America led by the President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their 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. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them–help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.

Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.

Give us strength, too — strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.

And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.

And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.

With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.

Thy will be done, Almighty God.

Amen.

This is not meant to be a history of the operation, that would take several bookshelves and has been done, my purpose here is to commemorate these men and show how their achievement has altered history.

Aftermath

Most of you know the rough outlines of the story, the British stalled trying to take Caen. In fairness, the British could not afford to take casualties, remember they had lost almost an entire generation merely 26 years earlier. The Americans attacked into the bocage country of Normandy, which the American Army, as always designed for movement, found very difficult. The best explanation may well be that of “an irresistible force meeting an immovable object”.  Eventually, the force triumphed and 3d United States Army debouched onto the plains of France, stopping only when they ran out of gas in the approaches to Germany. As we have said, 11 months later, Nazi Germany surrendered.

Historical Consequences

But the invasion was a gamble, what would have happened if it failed? Undoubtedly, the Americans would have transferred whatever forces were left to the Mediterranean to be part of Operation Dragoon which landed in the south of France 2 weeks later. This could never have been a war winner though, the best it could have done is tied down some German forces from moving to the Eastern Front. So, the war in Europe would have ended with the Red Army conquering Germany, and who’s not to say they wouldn’t have come on through France as well. Simple prudence would seem to demand it, while the American emphasis would have been transferred to the war against Imperial Japan. The result is Europe from Portugal to the Urals, and from Lappland to Italy dominated by Moscow. But the Invasion succeeded due to the Valor of the English speaking peoples. There is a Churchill quote taken from his speech to the House of Commons on 18 May 1940 that comes to mind.

We shall never surrender and even if, which I do not for the moment believe, this island or a large part of it were subjugated and starving, then our empire beyond the seas, armed and guarded by the British Fleet, will carry on the struggle until in God’s good time the New World with all its power and might, sets forth to the liberation and rescue of the Old.

On Tuesday, 06 June 1944, the Americans and the Canadians, supported by the conquered people of Europe, in concert with the British Army, guarded primarily by the British Fleet, that promise was made good.

But it doesn’t end there either, for, without this successful invasion, the Soviets would have controlled all of Europe, and probably still would. Would Britain have survived, for that matter would North America? It’s not for us to know, neither is it a sure thing.

But certainly, the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact would not have fallen as soon as 1990, thus making Europe from Portugal to the Urals and the North Pole to Sicily free.

As he often did, President Reagan said it better than anyone, when addressing those American Rangers we spoke of earlier, at the 40th anniversary of D-Day he said.

…The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — at 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 de 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….

This was the spirit that animated the entire force that conquered fascism, In the words of another great general, “They came, They saw, and They Conquered”. And so the lighted torch of freedom was maintained for another generation. But the struggle continues.

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