June 6, 2014, - 2:47 pm

D-Day at 70: Would America Have the Guts to Do it Today? Probably Not; The Valor of Those Who Died, Lived to Tell

By Debbie Schlussel

So, today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, and I’m not so sure America would have the guts to do it again today. On June 6, 1944, Allied forces landed in Nazi-occupied France and began the liberation of Europe. Our soldiers stormed Omaha Beach in Normandy. But would we have the fortitude to do it again? To sacrifice so many lives in a stark good versus evil battle? We no longer have the nerve and the determination and a good part of that is “leaders” and influencers who’ve caused America to fatigue from the right battles as they constantly put us or try to put us in the wrong battles.



We’ve repeatedly condemned our ally Israel for defending itself right off its own coast. And we’re doing nothing about the enemy, the new Nazis–Muslims–expanding their wide berth on our own shores. It’s not only as if we have forgotten, but as if those men on Omaha Beach died for nothing–to defeat a vicious enemy abroad while we now welcome a more vicious enemy to repeatedly expand and infiltrate our shores at every opportunity.

I snicker as I watch various talking heads on TV, various newscasters, and various editorialists and columnists writing about how they remember the sacrifices of D-Day, while they’ve spent the last several years making sure we’ll never make that sacrifice again because they’ve urged us to go to war in favor of evil in Iraq (handing over the country to Iranian backed Shi’ite extremists), to war in Afghanistan (where we could never win in the way our current politically correct generals force our soldiers to engage in “hearts and minds” crap and hand out candy and give their lives to build roads for those who hate us), to war in Syria (where thankfully we haven’t yet gone but where our weapons and CIA advisers are there helping Al-Qaeda savages), to threaten to go to war in Ukraine (where we would be siding with neo-Nazis against Communists, yet another Alien v. Predator scenario).

And that’s not to mention that many of these news anchors, reporters, talking heads, and opinionists have repeatedly told us that America is the bad guy in all the wars in which we did participate (and that we need to “understand” and be “tolerant” of the most extreme Muslim practices on U.S. soil), so why would Americans support going to war when they’ve been preached to and programmed to think that they are evil, rather than our enemies and those that we are fighting? Americans no longer see themselves as having the moral high ground in the world. They’ve been taught the exact opposite by academia, the media, and Hollywood. They don’t feel about themselves and this country the way they did in 1944 or even in 1984.




And, today, around the world, American liberators who sacrifice life and limb for the freedom of others are often chased out with hate–mostly the hate that dominates Islam around the world. We, Americans, prosecute them because they might have urinated on a corpse of a Taliban terrorist. What message does that send? Not any message that is in the keeping of the legacy of D-Day. I’m sure more than a few of the men at D-Day pissed on some dead Nazis. And nobody turned it into an international tribunal-worthy crisis.

All of this has long ago caused Americans to fatigue of sending our men out to fight and win wars. And, one day, there will be another just war with stark good versus evil like when we fought the Nazis. And we won’t want to go. We won’t even believe that–despite being hit by the enemy as we were to bring us into World War II–that we are just in responding and defending ourselves and prosecuting a military defense and offense that is necessary for any great Western nation to survive when it is attacked as we were at Pearl Harbor and as the British were repeatedly with Nazi bombings.

24,000 Allied airborne troops landed in France, then occupied by the Nazis. 156,000 Allied servicemen, a good deal of them Americans, came off of more than 5,000 ships and Higgins landing craft into non-stop gunfire from Nazis. 2,499–most of them Americans–died in a single day and the total causualties were 4,414. I don’t think Americans–too busy to be distracted from shopping at H&M and watching the Kim Kardashian-Kanye West honeymoon on TMZ–would want to interrupt their spoiled lives to go off and fight Nazi tyranny. And tyranny would rule Europe today. It would probably also rule America, because America would be too selfish to stop Hitler. Too interested in being “tolerant” of the Nazi “lifestyle” which “we shouldn’t judge just because it’s different from ours.” That’s how we’re taught to think in today’s America.

I wish the world would never forget the valor and sacrifice made by all of those brave men 70 years ago today, but I’m afraid that their legacy is lost upon most Americans and definitely most Westerners today. I really don’t think that the men who died on that day died so that the Detroit Zoo would have trilingual signs in Arabic and Spanish. Do you? I also don’t think the men who landed at Omaha Beach would have traded five Himmlers to obtain the freedom of a deserter who sympathized with and helped the Third Reich. Do you? (And even the Nazis we did catch were POWs, not “enemy combatants,” something we went to great lengths to legally designate these forever-committed terrorist masterminds who won’t stop their quest to kill us.)

It’s sad because many who embarked on the Normandy Invasion never came home. Or if they did, it was in body bags. The world should never forget their valiant fight. But sadly it mostly has, already. Most of the men who survived that day are long gone now. And the last surviving participants, as witnesses and voices speaking out about the costs of American freedom and liberty and what must be given to have it, are fading out, too.

Clara Gaymard, head of French operations for General Electric Co., is spot on: “We are the generation that has taken for granted that they fought on the beaches.” But I would add, the youngest generations, the Gen-Y-ers and beyond, not only take it for granted, they don’t know anything about it or care to. “The Edge of Tomorrow,” the new Tom Cruise futuristic movie out today, has a tribute and salute to D-Day, but most who see it won’t get that or even have a clue (stay tuned for my review later today).

G-d Bless America and the souls of those courageous, valorous men who gave their lives at Normandy and those who survived to tell about it. Let’s hope that something changes in our sinking country to re-establish the value–and the memory–that must be placed on the momentous events of seven decades ago today.

More: “D-Day’s Last Voices Fight Against Time

CAEN, France—When John C. Raaen Jr. stormed Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, he was a 22-year-old captain leading his fellow U.S. Army Rangers into a hail of Nazi gunfire. Today, he is a 92-year-old retired general who faces a different challenge: The generation of veterans who turned the tide of World War II with the D-Day landing and survived to tell their story is literally dying off.

“I haven’t seen a single soul that I know here that had anything to do with the Rangers,” Gen. Raaen said after walking the windswept shores of Normandy a day before the 70th anniversary of history’s biggest amphibious offensive. . . . For decades, D-Day commemorations have served as a potent reminder of the shared sacrifice of American, Canadian, British and other Western forces to free Europe from the clutches of totalitarianism. Not only was the battle pivotal in defeating Adolf Hitler, it turned the page on centuries of European bloodshed, leading the way to a new order. . . .

Veterans such as Gen. Raaen play a crucial role in the commemorations, providing the living testimony that underpins the battle’s historical legacy. For many veterans, however, Friday’s D-Day milestone is likely to be their last. With every year that passes, fewer and fewer veterans can muster strength to report to the commemorations. When Gen. Raaen traveled to Normandy a decade ago, he was accompanied by about 25 veterans and four historians. On his current visit, he says, it is the other way around: only a few veterans were able to come, along with a couple dozen historians.

“The passing of veterans means that the event enters the realm of history, and is no longer in the realm of the personal experience,” said Rob Citino, a historian at the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa. . . .

Thomas Blakey, a then-23-year-old from Houston, parachuted behind enemy lines, landing in the early-morning dark on a mission to capture and hold La Fière Bridge. “I was expecting to be up to my elbows and armpits in Germans trying to kill me,” recalled Mr. Blakey, who is now 93 and walks with the help of a cane.

Then-Capt. Raaen’s battalion was charged with taking Omaha Beach, where American troops suffered around 2,000 casualties. As his landing craft approached the beachhead, a group of boats just ahead of him ran into heavy German gunfire and artillery. “We could tell they were being cut to shreds,” he said. The former captain couldn’t see where the gunfire was coming from as he hit the beach with a 50-yard jog ahead of him. Instead, Gen. Raaen recalled 70 years later, the sound of bullets that whizzed by his head “like you had kicked a beehive.”

The soldier survived the onslaught, and the Allies conquered the coastline. Today, Gen. Raaen is battling time itself. To make it to the 75th anniversary, he quips, a wheelchair might be in order. Mr. Blakey, tired after a day trip to the American veterans’ cemetery, pledged to return in years to come “if I live long enough.”


Graves of American Soldiers Who Gave Their Lives in WWII at Normandy: Hmmm . . . Which Religious Symbol is Missing?

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21 Responses

God bless those that died that day. Let us hope you never forget their sacrifices. It is really sad to see all those grave markers and to think they died so young.

Karen on June 6, 2014 at 3:39 pm

“Which symbol is missing?” Rhetorical, of course.

Simple answer:

Mooslims only give their lives WHEN THEY TAKE OTHER INNOCENT LIVES!

Ed on June 6, 2014 at 3:47 pm

God Bless those who survived. God Bless those still in the hallowed cemeteries of Normandy. June 6, the day average men found uncommon courage. And no. The Pentagon and especially our elected officials do not have even 1/100th of the balls to do anything remotely like this. They don’t even have the spine necessary to find and hang Wassef Ali Hassoun, a US Marine who deserted 10 years ago, was found brought back to Quantico, convicted of desertion but somehow some way .. nothing was ever done about it and no one knows where he is. Bowe Bergdahl will probably get a Saudi sponsored speaking engagements at $75,00 per, a book deal and movie worth millions and his parents a bronzed freedom fighters statute at Fort Benning.

Jack on June 6, 2014 at 4:16 pm

“Which Religious Symbol is Missing?”

Why, the “c0eXiSt” one, of course!

DS_ROCKS! on June 6, 2014 at 4:22 pm

You at the beginning of the OT asked whether or not our Armed Forces have to guts/fortitude to the precise samething today in the 21st century as they did back in the early 1940s in WWI, good question, and I believe that the answer is no, forgive me Debbie and others for being pessimistic, but my reasoning is that the influence of the “Military Industrial Complex”, where ever since I believe the Korean War over 60 years ago, we’ve had the same amount of contractors in the US Armed Forces, as the number of troops on fighting grounds, etc.

And the first US president (who I believe was the last good conservative and Republican president) to give a speech about the “Military Industrial Complex” was the late, “Dwight Eisenhower”, in his time as he was existing as president, Eisenhower gave a national-speech about it and warned the nation on what was really occurring in elements of the US Military, and it turns out that Eisenhower was correct and spot on, rather a conspiracy-monger or using emphasizing(s). And that’s why in the Iraq war, we’ve had more contractors than US troops over there, and that’s what held us back on that war in Iraq (and I also agree with you DS, that the Iranians are/were the huge winners in the Iraq war)!

Sean R. on June 6, 2014 at 4:31 pm

The Selective Service Draft would not work today. As a country, we could never replicate such an action. The next ‘big thing’ will end this country as we know it. This generation just ain’t got it. Sorry….

#1 VATO on June 6, 2014 at 4:32 pm

To compare the greatest generation of Americans that ever lived to today, is ,well unfair and laughable. They were and are the best. Hopefully, their valor, tenacity and courage will be required learning.

HK on June 6, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Also, we are not a unified country. Diversity has diluted the characteristics of a real American. It doesnt exist anymore. We have different peoples that are more true to their original homelands than to America. Diversity sucks.

HK on June 6, 2014 at 4:43 pm

    HK: You are correct, of course, that diversity has balkanized our country and undermined national unity, but you may not fully appreciate how tenacious and probably predominant isolationism was, right up to the attack on Pearl Harbor. This became clear to me after reading a few issues of the New York Journal American from October and November 1941. Many articles, editorials, and letters to the editor underscored how widespresd and deeply entrenched isolationist sentiment was at that time – America even then was deeply divided despite Nazi hefemony in Europe and Japanese domination of East Asia. Only a few opposing voices seemed to be prominent, notably that of then-mayor of New York, Fiorello LaGuardia. The period newspapers, which I purchased at a flea market, provided a 0revelatory

    commonsense on June 6, 2014 at 7:41 pm

      Sorry for the typos and incomplete final sentence. This may be the last time I try to write an extensive comment using the stylus on my phone. I inadvertently touched the “Submit Comment” box before I had a chance to finish the post and to proofread it before it was sent.

      commonsense on June 6, 2014 at 7:47 pm

        Of course, once war was declared against Japan, the American people did unite. But isolationism ran deep until Pearl Harbor, to a much greater degree than I realized. Reading those old newspapers was an eye-opener.

        commonsense on June 6, 2014 at 7:58 pm

From an Army of approx 550,000 or so (regular and national guard) to putting 150,000 troops on the beaches at Normandy the first day or two, from thousands of ships in roughly 31 months since entering the war — could we do it today? Hell no, no way.

It took us months, under peace-time conditions to get the few divisions force to the Middle East for the 1st Gulf War.

The will and guts just don’t exist, except for our few warriors that step up, today.

RA2216 on June 6, 2014 at 4:46 pm

How many of you know that some of the electronic parts for our jet fighters come from China? Same for some of our defensive weaponry on our navy ships?

How many of you now that our navy is down to about 220 ships, including support ships, and that at any given time, the total number of navy ships at sea are no more than about 110?

Jonathan E. Grant on June 6, 2014 at 5:10 pm

The Allied troops of WWII did buy the world a few generations of freedom unparalleled in human history so their sacrifice could never be said to be completely wasted.

Unfortunately they also bought a future who wouldn’t be able to conceive of its absence except in the abstract.
Its downfall will be not really feeling what surrounds it.

Inheritances are so routinely squandered by privileged progeny it must be one of the most enduring constants of history.

You left out Vietnam in the list of incorrect wars.
The right is the war you win, always has been.

Frankz on June 6, 2014 at 5:54 pm

When I was in Junior High back in the 70’s there use to be a substitute teacher who made the rounds to schools in the Phoenix area. His name was Colonel Redburn. We always use to love when the Colonel came around for one because we knew that our regular work could wait for that day. Colonel Redburn was a Pearl Harbor survivor and he would always tell us the story of the attack on America. I must have heard it 4 or 5 times over the years but never tired of hearing his stories. He would always have the class mesmerized and we hung on his every word. This article made me think of the old Colonel and how important those stories he told us were to me.
I remember one story he told, he told us about the mess hall they would , and how it had these huge glass windows. He said there was a asian man, (I believe he said jap) who was a milkman. The Colonel claimed that he was a spy and a saboteur. The morning of the attack the milkman left many glass containers in an area he never had before, he left them in an area where they would turn into shrapnel right where most of our service men would be seated. He was convinced that it was done on purpose.
Anyway, I hope this comment posts and does not get eaten by your filter again. I just wanted to say that this little old man ( he was old then ) really made an impression on me in my youth. Our country desperatly needs more men like this to share with our young people the history of our nation. Its true history not all this left wing indoctrination they learn today. I know the Colonel passed many years ago, so here is to you COLONEL REDBURN. Thank you

john on June 6, 2014 at 7:22 pm

    Every year on the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack I think of Col Redburn. He was my Social Studies teacher when I was in the 7th grade at Frank Borman Jr High in 72. He called me his secretary and had me sit at his desk where I graded papers while he would tell his Pearl Harbor stories. He was by far my favorite teacher ever! What a great man

    Rene on December 7, 2016 at 10:28 am

Spot on, Debbie, especially, sadly, about the lack of backbone both this administration and this generation have. Were today’s media been present at Normandy, they would have called for an immediate surrender and capitulation with the Nazis.
Yesterday’s soldiers traveled their stomachs, keeping low t the ground to ward off enemies’ bullets an get close enough to kill their foes. Today, most of this generation of American travels on its knees – begging for, first, the government handout, then to surrender, in order to live in servitude versus making any sacrifice.
Check out my new column:
Remembering D-Day at 70 and Ronald Reagan 10 years since his passing.
Shabbat Shalom.

Sanford D. Horn on June 6, 2014 at 8:38 pm

Great article, which represents my opinion exactly. We are in great trouble as a nation.

unholyone on June 7, 2014 at 9:29 am

I had the honor of visiting Normandy a few years ago and standing at the water’s edge at Omaha Beach and seeing a huge flat as a board stretch of beach in front of you and then a 300 foot tall cliff behind that full of bunkers and pillboxes full of German’s firing at you made me appreciate those heroes who took that beach even more. I spoke to a few veterans who were there and they said that the beginning of Saving Private Ryan was accurate–it was that horrible. Yet, they carried on and won. They didn’t desert, they didn’t whine, they fought, many died, but they did their duty.
Due to the “ME” generation there is NO WAY that our country’s citizens would ever fight like that again. We were in WW2 for 4 years and beat The Axis all over the World. Today we couldn’t even pacify and hold the two 2 bit nations Afghanistan and Iraq in 10 years !!!
Now when someone says “that’s a different situation” well those same GIs conquered and pacified Nazi Germany and Imerial Japan didn’t they ??
The WW2 generation are mostly gone to their reward now but they were something special and I honor them today.

JimmyPx on June 7, 2014 at 10:16 am

I won’t lecture you guys. But if you guys are interested to know how deep Islam has infiltrated into the American society, I will give you two figures —

#1. More than 2,000 police officers from the NYPD are Muslims

#2. Read this article – http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/education/nyc-public-school-kids-new-holidays-article-1.1601237

It wouldn’t be long before the National Grand Mosque be erected in Washing D.C.

Potato on June 8, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Speaking of infiltration. How many muslims are sneaking in thru the southern border now that Obama is no longer enforcing the law?

    sal on June 9, 2014 at 9:17 am

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