65th ANNIVERSARY OF D-DAY – JUNE 6, 1944

Jim at the 502 Memorial in LongChamps, Deauville, France

Pictured is Jim Norene at the 502 Memorial in Longchamps, Deauville, France.

Today President Obama saluted the contributions of individual veterans of the Normandy landings, including veteran, Jim Norene, who fought as a member of the 101st Airborne Division.    

Jim was traveling alone to commerate this day.  He was suffering from stage 4 cancer and was very ill.  Jim had told his family and friends at home before he left that he may not come back since he was so ill.   And now he is gone. Sad, very sad, but in a way this is a fitting tribute to a man who 65 years ago jumped in to liberate Europe and lived to return home.  I am sure it was an honor to die in the same place where many of his brothers did.

“Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep,” the president said. “Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did 65 years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.”

“Friends and veterans, what we cannot forget – what we must not forget – is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century. At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found it within themselves to do the extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty – a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had fought and bled for over two centuries.

That is the story of Normandy – but also the story of America. Of the minutemen who gathered on a green in Lexington; of the Union boys from Maine who repelled a charge at Gettysburg; of the men who gave their last full measure at Inchon and Khe San; of all the young men and women whose valor and goodness still carry forward this legacy of service and sacrifice. It is a story that has never come easy, but one that always gives us hope. For as we face down the hardships and struggles of our time, and arrive at that hour for which we were born, we cannot help but draw strength from those moments in history when the best among us were somehow able to swallow their fears and secure a beachhead on an unforgiving shore. To those men who achieved that victory sixty-five years ago, I thank you for your service. May God Bless you, and may God Bless the memory of all those who rest here.”

President Ronald Reagan, our 40th President, died five years ago yesterday, June 5 (2004).  Today I read his great speech that he gave on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, 25 years ago.  You can see it here:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEIqdcHbc8I

Quote by Ronald Reagan:

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. “

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Published in: on June 6, 2009 at 10:59 am  Leave a Comment  

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