76 years ago today, Allied forces invaded Nazi occupied France. It was known as Operation Overlord, and it was the largest invasion force ever assembled up to that time. The US forces landed at Utah Beach, Omaha Beach and Point du Hoc, which lies between the two beaches.
Last year, I was privileged to visit these beaches for the 75th anniversary. I also visited Longues-sur-Mer, which is above Juno Beach where British forces landed.
These brave men gave everything including their lives to liberate the world from fascism and tyranny.
Over 8,000 US soldiers were killed during the initial invasion, and several more thousand would join them during the coming months of fighting.
Several days before D-Day, the 101st and 82nd Airborne dropped behind enemy lines to secure bridges, roads and crossroads to keep German forces from getting to the beaches in Normandy for a counter offensive.
Looking around at what is happening in the country right now with the protests, riots and civil unrest, it is more important than ever to remember what we were fighting for a generation ago. We were fighting for freedom from oppression, fascism and tyranny not just in Europe but in Asia.
Today we face many issues that are tearing our country apart at the seams. I hope and pray that we as country can get through these difficult times with our country intact. If we can create a national and local dialogue to solve the problems we now face with civility and respect, we will get through this civil unrest to rebuild our cities and country to be stronger, more unified and better than ever. This is my wish as we celebrate D-Day, to remember what we fought for so we can keep freedom alive and strong from oppression and tyranny, for everyone.