On this day, June 6 in 1944, the Allied Forces invaded Normandy, France to initiate the destruction and surrender of the German war machine that would end World War II. Eleven months later on April 29, 1945, Germany surrendered and on August 15, 1945, Japan surrendered ending WWII. War remains. Pray for Peace.
General Dwight D. Eisenhower was the General of the Army and as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Force in WWII, he was responsible for planning and executing the invasion of Europe in 1944. He said,
“The best morale exists when you never hear the word mentioned. When you hear a lot of talk about it, it’s usually lousy.”
General of the Army Dwight D. Eisenhower
West Point Graduate, President of the United States
Order of the Day, June 6, 1944
Through his nearly three decades of service following graduation in 1915 from West Point, Eisenhower was well known for his ability to lead and to motivate his troops. In one speech, Eisenhower proudly exhorted his troops with these words, “Together with millions of others of America’s best, you have risen to defiantly shout ‘It Shall Be Done,’ and now you are offering your lives to prove your words … as you go forth to take part in this greatest war … may this flag sustain you.”
Perhaps his greatest morale-building message was his Order of the Day, 6 June 1944:
“Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
“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.
“Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle hardened. He will fight savagely.
“But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage and devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.”
End War, Pray for Peace
Forty-six years have passed since over 425,000 Allied and German troops were killed, wounded or went missing during the Battle of Normandy, yet war continues to plague humanity. If you do nothing else this day, pray for the end of war… pray for peace.