Normandy Speech: Ceremony Commemorating the 40th Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, D-Day 6/6/84 - YouTube (external - login to view)
On the 40th anniversary of the invasion of Normandy, Ronald Reagan stood upon the cliffs at Point Du Hoc, France, commemorating the brave veterans who risked their lives and died to save the free world.
“Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love,” President Reagan remarked.
On that day, Reagan stressed the importance that the men at D-Day were there to liberate, not conquer the people like is so common in war. With that sentiment in mind, Reagan reminds what is in the heart of a soldier storming the beaches.
“The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next,” he said.
Reagan closed with wisdom that all could learn from when thinking of our veterans.
“Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.”