Almost 75 years ago, American soldiers, joined by allies from across the globe, stormed the beaches of Normandy in a push to defeat the spread of tyranny and genocide. Soldiers of different races, religions, and creeds fought together against a common enemy, and came out victorious. Where our enemies were united under a banner of hate and bigotry, America and her allies were unified by a common belief in human liberty.
The fires of a toxic, hateful, authoritarian regime had caught and begun to spread across Europe. It threatened to cast the dark shadow of oppression across the world. America and the allied powers responded, many sacrificing all to ensure that those who came after would still know a world where democracy and the rule of law prevailed, where essential freedoms and human rights are preserved, and where bigotry and hatred are banished to the extreme fringes of society.
The bloody battles for Normandy Beach claimed the lives of countless heroes. But their sacrifice enabled the torch of freedom to be passed on to new generations of Americans, trusting that what they fought for would be valued, protected, and preserved.
Sadly, hateful and bigoted ideologies are again on the rise in the world, and the democracy they fought hard to preserve is under assault. General Eisenhower told his troops that day, “The eyes of the world are upon you.” Today, those eyes look to us. We may not have to storm a beachhead. But we do have to stand up once more – in our community, our country, and across the globe – for liberty, equality and truth.
America must forever stand as a beacon of hope against tyrants and oppressors; an inheritance from our rich Constitutional founding and tradition. As Americans have done time and time again, whether fighting on the beaches of France or within domestic political institutions, we will fulfill the solemn commission to keep the torch lit.
On this 75th anniversary of D-Day, remember the fight goes on. Let’s redouble our efforts to protect the institutions that keep us free.