More than 225 years ago, a great American Patriot by the name of Patrick Henry uttered these words that still live on in the American consciousness: “Give Me Liberty, or Give Me Death!”
Sir Patrick Henry’s clarion call to fight Great Britain and to cast of the colonial bonds to the mother country helped to rally the will of the American colonists as they engaged in a 7 year battle that would culminate in the birth of a new nation.
Consequently, the American Revolution (1776 to 1783) while the first time this new nation fought for its freedom, it would not be the last.
Fast forwarding to 1812, one would see that the United States of America – barely 36 years old – would end up in a fight with Great Britain over land and border disputes with what is now Canada that went very badly. This fight with England was dubbed The War of 1812.
The President’s Executive Offices were burned to the ground and some historians argue that the British nearly beat the United States which would have ended the young nation’s young and unique experiment in “ordered liberty.”
The United States recovered from the War of 1812 shaken, but somewhat intact.
Over the next 45 to 50 years, the United States of America would greatly expand westward as the original 13 states would swell to more than 35 in the Ante-bellum South. Yet, there was another battle for freedom brewing under the surface as roughly 4 million Negro slaves were not allowed to partake in the blessings of liberty.
The United States would fight an internal battle in which nearly 600,000 people would perish from 1860 through 1865 as the nation was forced to deal with the pernicious results of what they called “the peculiar institution” (slavery).
The United Sates passed the 13th Amendment to the Constitution and Negro Slavery was abolished (although it would take 100 more years to destroy the last “legal vestiges” of American Apartheid).
The early part of the 20th Century would see the United States enter the European and World theater during World War I (WWI).
The reason for the entry of the United States into this international frawy was articulated by the then US President Woodrow Wilson as an endeavor “ to make the world safe for democracy.” More than 115,000 Americans died in this effort to free Europe from tyranny (1917 – 1918) and “to make the world safe for democracy.”
Indeed, (WWI) left a bitter taste in the hearts and minds of many Americans.
More than a few United States citizens remembered the words of President George Washington warning us not to get entangled in European affairs. Many Americans of that generation thought that (WWI) was the last major global conflict.
How wrong they were!
Only a few short years later, the American public would be aroused again as the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor on December 7th 1941 and provoke the United States to enter into World War II (WWII). Our involvement with the Second World War was a long and tedious struggle of 4 long years with more than 9 million soldiers deployed.
The Women in the United States contributed brilliantly to the War effort as they worked the factories, produced munition, took care of the families – and played Softball to entertain the American public as our national pastime of baseball was interrupted.
Today we celebrate the greatest battle to liberate Europe in what historians referred to as “D-Day” or The Battle of Normandy.
The Allies were blessed by The Hand of Providence with great political and military leaders during the World War II timeframe.
In the United States and in Great Britain, President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill provided their nations and the allied countries with an unswerving and absolute commitment to “Total Victory.”
Furthermore, magnificent military leaders such as The Supreme Allied Commander Dwight D. Eisenhower and the phenomenal British General Bernard Montgomery provided strategic brilliance, outstanding resolve and courage – and charisma under the harshest of conditions.
The United States and the free world did not get a break after the Second World War ended. The United States emerged as the World’s strongest Economic and Military power, but was reminded time and time again “that with great power comes great responsibility.”
The United States ended WWII by entering into a 70 year protracted battle against world communism against a former (WWII) ally: Russia or The Soviet Union!
Our nation learned the hard way – through the global conflicts of the 20th century – that “freedom is never truly free.”
A free people MUST ALWAYS be willing to sacrifice and lay down their lives for the people, principles, and life purpose that they cherish.
Today we celebrate the 70th Anniversary of D-Day and the accomplishments of “the Greatest Generation” (although they simply saw themselves as citizen-soldiers who were fighting for freedom and for the nation that they loved).
Hopefully, we will fight with the same determination and bravery – whenever called upon that was greatly manifested by the men and women of the (WWII) generation.
We thank GOD for raising up men and women of such amazing fortitude. May GOD richly bless them and their families for their incalculable sacrifices.