Independence Day by Dr. Chris Lauritzen
As I am writing this, it is June 6, 2019, the 75th anniversary of Operation Overlord or more commonly known as the D-Day Invasion of Continental Europe. I am fortunate, because of my military postings, I have been able to visit the beaches of Normandy on four separate occasions. Each time I visited; I was in awe of what happened there 75 years ago. It was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, an implausible logistical triumph, the turning point leading to the defeat of National Socialism, and a fantastic feat of American and Allied arms.
As a former special operator and airborne infantryman, my focus on what I saw and felt was more from a military tactician’s perspective than that of a tourist. I strode the five beaches with the code names Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword; explored the cliffs of Pointe du Hoc and surveyed the parachute landing zones around Sainte-Mere-Église and Carentan. I was left astonished over the shear immensity of the operation, but more than that; I was left astonished over the immensity of spirit, faith and courage of the men who fought that long-ago battle. As a green beret, I could relate to the over 13,000 paratroopers who were dropped behind enemy lines prior to the beach landing, and to my uncle, who was an infantry sergeant who started his wartime experience from Omaha Beach and ended it in victory over Nazi Germany less than a year later in May 1945.
In reviewing President Trump’s speech commemorating the event he spoke of the courage of those who fought for freedom on that day:
“These men ran through the fires of hell, moved by a force no weapon could destroy: the fierce patriotism of a free, proud, and sovereign people. They battled not for control and domination, but for liberty, democracy, and self-rule…They were sustained by the confidence that America can do anything because we are a noble nation, with a virtuous people, praying to a righteous God. The exceptional might came from a truly exceptional spirit. The abundance of courage came from an abundance of faith. The great deeds of an Army came from the great depths of their love. As they confronted their fate, the Americans and the allies placed themselves into the palm of God’s hand.”
That spirit, that faith, that courage, that unity was evident with American fighting men from the foundation of our country. General George Washington had the recently approved Declaration of Independence read to his nascent and ill-equipped Continental Army to give them inspiration for battles and hardships he knew they would experience. He realized that faith in the ideals of freedom coupled with determined and unified effort could strengthen his army and win American independence.
Unfortunately, that was not the last war America was to experience. I believe that freedom was also on the minds of subsequent American leaders, when they won their improbable victories close to the anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence.
The desire of freedom for other men must have been on the mind of abolitionist and scholar turned soldier, Colonel Joshua L. Chamberlain after he and his men won the pivotal engagement of the Battle of Gettysburg. On July 2, 1863, Chamberlain led the men of the 20thMaine on a charge with virtually no ammunition in their rifle-muskets. They drove the 15thAlabama from the hill called Little Round Top and forced the entire Army of Northern Virginia into a situation where they were defeated the next day. I am sure celebration of the regiment on the July 4, 1863 was not just a celebration of their recently hard-won victory, but of victory leading to the eradication slavery in America. No doubt General Ulysses S. Grant’s army was celebrating freedom’s bright blessings after the surrender of Vicksburg that same Fourth of July.
Both Colonel Theodore Roosevelt and Dr. Leonard Word were principal leaders in the July 1, 1898 storming of Kettle Hill and San Juan Heights near Santiago, Cuba. The naval Battle of Santiago de Cuba occurred two days later, where the United States Navy decisively defeated Spanish naval forces, sealing American victory in the Spanish–American War and achieving momentary freedom and independence for Cuba from rule of the Spanish Empire.
All the afore-mentioned military heroes were also great Republicans. They knew that their enemies were strong and determined; but if they succumbed to their enemies, goodness and freedom would succumb as well. They needed to have faith in God and each other to achieve victory. The enemies of freedom and goodness are again at work. Instead of being combatants wearing foreign uniforms, sadly they are inhabitants of our own country attempting to destroy our history, our culture, and our freedom with their false utopian promises that have never been realized. They try to convince the people that they are caring and “progressive”, but their leftist practices have killed constructive cultures, goodness, and freedom wherever they have been established.
Ronald Reagan said, “Unity makes us invincible”. Like the great Republican warriors of the past who stood up to the enemies of freedom; it is time to stand up to the tyranny of leftists and the oppression of Democrat Party; to their political correctness, their odium, their intolerance, their mendacities, their propaganda, and their “transformation” of the American culture and spirit. It is time to hold fast to the principles that made our nation great in the first place, by having courage to do what is right, by speaking the truth to our neighbors, by caring for those oppressed by the left, by supporting strong and able conservatives in public office, and by having faith in God and each other.
President Trump ended his D-Day speech by saying, “As we stand together upon this sacred Earth, we pledge that our nation will forever be strong and united. We will forever be together. Our people will forever be bold. Our hearts will forever be loyal. And our children, and their children, will forever and always be free.”
American was not built on fear, although some elected Republicans seem to be fearful to confidently pursue truth and defend our liberties. America was built on courage, imagination, and an unassailable resolve to do the right thing and to preserve freedom. May Republicans begin this Independence Day to boldly “Make America Great Again”!