Monday, June 6, 2011


Today, June 6, 1944, was a monumental day in history.  The Allied invasion into France through Normandy took place at 6:30am.  (BST)

President Roosevelt read the following prayer, originally entitled "Let Our Hearts Be Stout." over radio to an anxious nation as Allied troops were invading Nazi-occupied Europe on D-Day, June 6, 1944:

"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...Success may not come with rushing speed, but....we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph....

[Our men] fight to liberate.  They fight to let justice arise and tolerance and goodwill among all Thy people.  They yearn bur for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.  Some will never return.  Embrace these, Father, receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.....

Thy will be done, Almighty God.  Amen."[1]

"The assault was conducted in two phases: an airborne assault landing of 24,000 British, American, Canadian and Free French airborne troops shortly after midnight, and an amphibious landing of Allied infantry and armoured divisions on the coast of France commencing at 6:30 AM. There were also decoy operations mounted under the codenames Operation Glimmer and Operation Taxable to distract the German forces from the real landing areas.
The operation was the largest amphibious invasion in world history, with over 160,000 troops landing on June 6, 1944. 195,700 Allied naval and merchant navy personnel in over 5,000 ships were involved. The invasion required the transport of soldiers and material from the United Kingdom by troop-laden aircraft and ships, the assault landings, air support, naval interdiction of the English Channel and naval fire-support. The landings took place along a 50-mile (80 km) stretch of the Normandy coast divided into five sectors: Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword."[2]
As I looked for information on D-Day, I came across some interesting facts having to do with the invasion.

  • It is estimated that nearly 2 million soldiers, sailors and airmen were involved in Operation Overlord, including U.S., British, and Canadians who were scheduled to fight after men on the ground secured a Normandy bridgehead.
  • 195,000 naval personnel manned 6,939 naval vessels (including 1,200 warships and 15 hospital ships).
  • About 17 million maps supported the mission. 
  • The United States shipped 7 million tons of supplies (that translates into 14 billion pounds of material).
  • Of those supplies, ammunition accounted for 448,000 tons.
  • Air-support operations - often overlooked in the success of D-Day - sustained significant losses:
  • Between the 1st of April and the 5th of June, 1944, the Allies flew 14,000 missions losing 12,000 airmen and 2,000 aircraft.
  • 127 more planes were lost on D-Day.
  • By the end of the Normandy campaign, 28,000 airmen were dead.
  • There are 9,386 graves in the American cemetery at Colleville-sur-Mer. Each grave faces west, toward America.
  • 307 of those graves contain the remains of "unknown" soldiers.
  • 1,557 names are listed in The Garden of the Missing for those who were never found.
  • 4,868 British dead are buried in the Bayeux Cemetery.
  • 1,837 British names are listed at Bayeux for those who were never found.
  • There were 946 Canadian casualties in the Normandy campaign.
  • 21,500 German dead are buried at LaCambe.
Five years before he died, General Eisenhower came back to Colleville-sur-Mer. It was the first, and only, time he made that journey after the war. Looking over Omaha Beach, he spoke from his heart:
. . . these men came here - British and our allies, and Americans - to storm these beaches for one purpose only, not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions that America had for conquest, but just to preserve freedom. . . . Many thousands of men have died for such ideals as these. . . but these young boys. . . were cut off in their prime. . . I devoutly hope that we will never again have to see such scenes as these. I think and hope, and pray, that humanity will have learned. . . we must find some way . . . to gain an eternal peace for this world. (Eisenhower: A Soldier's Life, by Carlo D'Este, p. 705.)

Doug Phillips and Vision Forum Ministries is honoring our veterans in a very special way this year.  They are taking a group of men who fought on those beaches, with their families and a film crew, to honor those who lived and died in WWII.  They will be learning from these brave men the lessons that they had to learn.  Listening to their stories and thanking them for their service.  Treasuring the time that they have left with that generation of veterans that gave so much for their country & their families.  You can follow there journey with these veterans at the website A Final Farewell

As I close this post, I want us to remember what these brave men did for us; their children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and on.  Many of those men never came back.  They gave their lives that we might live in a free country.  Not one under the regime of people like Hitler and the communist.  They saw what their country and what the men and women who had come before them had given them and they took the responsibility given to them.  The responsibility of protecting their nation, their families, the innocent and the American dream of liberty, freedom and justice.

They were not given an easy task.  God had those people born at a time where their loyalty to Him and their country may have cost them their lives and yet God knew exactly who He wanted there for specific purposes. 

God has placed us in this great nation, and we as the next generation are being handed the "baton."  Will we take the responsibility of keeping our nation "One Nation Under God"?  Will we fight for our families, friends, the innocent, our freedoms and liberties and the next generations to come?

With God's strength and His book to guide us as we walk the path He has chosen for us, we can truly "do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me."

1 Timothy 1:12 "I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service,"

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

God Bless You All!

1. In God We Still Trust Devotional
2. Wikipedia

1 comment:

  1. Thank you very much for that reminder, Devin! I think we all need to hear about this kind of thing a little more often. God bless the legacy of those brave men!