"You are about to embark upon the 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." - General Dwight David Eisenhower's address to all the soldiers embarking upon Operation Overlord, the liberation of Europe.
"So, we've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important--why the Pilgrims came here, who Jimmy Doolittle was, and what those 30 seconds over Tokyo meant. You know, 4 years ago on the 40th anniversary of D-day, I read a letter from a young woman writing to her late father, who'd fought on Omaha Beach. Her name was Lisa Zanatta Henn, and she said, `we will always remember, we will never forget what the boys of Normandy did.' Well, let's help her keep her word. If we forget what we did, we won't know who we are. I'm warning of an eradication of the American memory that could result, ultimately, in an erosion of the American spirit. Let's start with some basics: more attention to American history and a greater emphasis on civic ritual." - President Ronald Reagan's farewell address January 11th, 1989.
Lets all strive to teach that history of the United States starting right now. To remember those brave Rangers at Point du Hoc who scaled imposing cliffs to knock out suspected German guns that could have devastated the invasion force. All those scattered pockets of 82d and 101st paratroopers and their allied compatriots who held on behind enemy lines until Allied forces forged inland. To the crew of USS Marblehead who survived combat with the Japanese to stand off-shore at Normandy and provide fire support. And most especially all those brave men who went ashore overloaded in gear, some were dropped off in deep water, many struggled ashore in withering fire, they suffered being pinned down by enemy forces, watching friends getting killed by that vicious fire, and still they managed to break out of Omaha Beach.