D-Day, June 6—Last of the Heroes?
Thursday, June 6, passed without a great deal of comment from the mainstream media.
Yet just 69 years ago, the most crucial of all battles fought for securing the world from tyranny was joined. That was the date when the invasion of the European continent by the combined massive forces of the Western Allies was launched. U.S. General Dwight D. Eisenhower led the charge.
Many stories of heroism came from that battle, which consummated with the Allies reclaiming the Continent in the interests of freedom and liberty from under the tyrant’s boot.
President Reagan highlighted two such heroic acts in his 40th-anniversary D-Day speech at the Ranger Monument, Pointe du Hoc, France, on June 6, 1984.
He first centered on the heroism of 225 U.S. Rangers who scaled the cliffs at Pointe de Hoc to take out enemy guns trained on the Allies invasion force.
The Rangers succeeded in their mission, facing down enemy gunfire trained directly on them by the Nazi force having the extreme tactical advantage of its height above the ascending U.S contingent. Only 90 Rangers survived this successful, daringly heroic act.
President Reagan observed of these heroes, “These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war” (National Review American Classics).
Mr. Reagan then went on to highlight a remarkable act of British heroism that took place on the same day.
He told the story of Lord Lovat, chief of Clan Fraser, leading the 51st Highlanders across a bridge to a position where British troops were pinned down by enemy gunfire.
Reaching the point of desperation awaiting reinforcements, the British contingent suddenly heard the skirl of bagpipes. Looking through the smoke of battle, they saw Lord Lovat, chief of the clan known as “the fighting Frasers,” kit complete with umbrella, marching at the head of his column of reinforcements, his kilted piper Bill Millin bravely marching by his side, blowing a stirring Scottish march with all his might. As President Reagan recounted, both Millin and his chief totally ignored “the smack of bullets around them” (ibid).
To think of two soldiers without the modern benefit of flack jackets—the one armed with an umbrella, and the other with his pipes—marching headlong into enemy fire, lifting the spirits of both the relief column and those about to be relieved from superior force with a stirring Scottish march, would seem to be an act of foolishness to many of our cosseted generation today. Yet in better times it was seen as a sheer act of overt bravery.
What makes this story even more poignant is the account that Lord Lovat, fresh from leading his troops in the taking of Sword Beach at the invasion point, calmly apologized to the British troops he was relieving, “Sorry I’m a few minutes late” (ibid).
In these times, from Korea to Vietnam, from Iraq to Afghanistan, we see the sad history of a nation that has lost the will to gain ultimate victory in battle. That stems from the most freedom-loving peoples in the world, the Anglo-Saxons, having, as Sir Winston Churchill said of the British people, “lost the will to rule.”
The result is a world which today is in leaderless confusion, reeling from crisis to crisis.
The problem that such a situation engenders—as history gives us clear account—is that under such a condition, tyrants ultimately arise.
Already there are the signs of such beginning to impact the continent that was saved from such perverse rule less than 70 years ago—saved, as it was, by the sheer bravery and courage of such as the American Rangers, Lord Lovat and his courageous piper.
But, even moreso, saved ultimately by the merciful intervention of our Maker with a powerful purpose in mind.
The 40 years of “pax Americana” that followed the Allied victory in World War ii enabled the fulfillment of one of the greatest prophecies of Jesus Christ. It is recorded in the book of Matthew in your Bible. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” (Matthew 24:14).
The hiatus of the Cold War created a certain scenario—a “time of delay” in the fulfillment of the prophecies leading to Jesus Christ’s return (verse 3)—which permitted a latter-day apostle of God to travel the world unfettered as an “ambassador for peace without portfolio,” as he came to be known. In those travels he preached that very gospel of the Kingdom of God to multiple thousands, even millions in the printed word and via television, and—most especially—to world leaders at the time. The name of that apostle was Herbert W. Armstrong.
It was he who made the prophetic statement, following World War ii, “We have won our last war.”
And so we had.
The documented history of the almost seven decades that have followed that victory declares this reality.
Truly, we are living through the times prophesied by Isaiah when “the mighty man, and the man of war, the judge, and the prudent, and the ancient, the captain of fifty, and the honourable man, and the counselor and the cunning artificer, and the eloquent orator” have been taken out of our midst (Isaiah 3:2-3).
Of such were once our heroes. Today they have been replaced by the court jester—the so-called entertainers and “celebrities” of rock and pop, of video and film “fame.” Beyond that are the manufactured false “heroes” created by video-gaming merchants.
What a weird world we live in.
Yet there is still a small band of heroes and heroines who have vowed to their God to give over their lives to His great cause. They are literally prepared to lay their lives on the line to get God’s work done in final preparation for Jesus Christ’s promised return to rule this Earth (John 14:1-3).
This happy band of people, scattered across the globe like a pinch of salt scattered across a plate, are behind the work that produces the Key of David television program and the Trumpet magazine. Theirs is a sacrifice of love—love to God and to fellow man.
Theirs is the greatest of satisfaction that comes from knowing that they are supporting a work that is increasingly opening the minds of men and women to embrace their incredible, God-given human potential.
You can find out more about that work and—should you of your own free will wish to do so—how to become part of it, by reading our book The Incredible Human Potential.
You owe it to yourself to at least check it out. The book is completely free—without purchase price or obligation.
It’s your choice.