June 6

Reflection

Today is the anniversary of D Day. On June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. More than 5,000 Ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the D-Day invasion, and by day’s end on June 6, the Allies gained a foot- hold in Normandy. The D-Day cost was high. When it was over, the Allied Forces suffered nearly 10,000 casualties and more than 4,000 were dead. Those fighting against them suffered an even higher cost of lives. The invasion ultimately led to Germany’s unconditional surrender and ended Adolph Hitler’s dream of Nazi domination. Even now, mre than 70 years later, we continue to experience the loss of life and the suffering of military and civilian people because of the goals and dreams of powerful men.

Prayer

May we keep in mind the terrible cost of war and may the world community learn to seek peace and reject violence,

Action

Most people now alive only know World War II through movies or history books. If you have a living grandfather or father who was part of that massive invasion, thank him and ask him about it. Be aware of the ceremonies commemorating this event. What are they saying to us? Reflect on the horrors of war and question your own attitudes toward it.

Suggested Reading

If it be possible, as much as lies in you, live peaceably with all men.
Romans 12:18

Mankind must put an end to war before war puts an end to mankind.
John F. Kennedy

You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war.
Albert Einstein

We must concentrate not merely on the negative expulsion of war but the postive affirmation of peace.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Men, I am not a religious man and I don’t know your feelings in this matter, but I am going to ask you to pray with me for the success of the mission before us. And while we pray, let us get on our knees and not look down but up with faces raised to the sky so that we can see God and ask his blessing in what we are about to do.”
Lt. Col. Robert L. Wolverton, commanding officer of 3rd battalion, 506th PIR.

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 goodwill 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.
Franklin Delano Roosevelt, June 6, 1944

Frail, old men with weathered hands stand,
Alone, lost on the wide sandy beaches,
Each turning back his rusty mind clock
Piercing the veil of memories
When they were young, anxious and terrified,
Boy-soldiers in battle fighting for their lives,
Experiencing the gamut of fear and death
Watching friends died horribly,
Scarring their young minds forever.
Curtis D. Bennett, From the poem Harbingers (from Normandy)

I am tired and sick of war. Its glory is all moonshine. It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, for vengeance, for desolation. War is hell.
William Tecumseh Sherman

War: a massacre of people who don’t know each other for the profit of people who know each other but don’t massacre each other.
Paul Valery
 

 

 

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