Much of todays news cycle includes something about today’s date. That’s right for those of you who may have forgotten, today is 06/06/06. The media is just so curious about this, and is trying to figure out what those silly Christians (they always find the “most silly” Christians to interview) are thinking. With this in mind, I want to talk about something totally different today.Today is 06/06 which means that it is anniversary of D-Day. On this date 1944 the Allied Forces took part in the largest amphibious operation in military history. The Allied Forces landed in Normandy on the Northern coast of France. This was possibly the most important battle in the whole war (see also the Battle of the Bulge).
What makes today particularly important to me is the fact that my Great Grandfather, A.W. Whidden, was there on that day. I do not know a lot about his experience there, he didn’t speak much of it. What I do know is that he was ready to make the ultimate temporal sacrifice for his country.The history of this battle is of great interest. Eisenhower, and the Allied leadership, had originally planned an earlier date for the invasion. The weather through a monkey wrench in those plans! Finally, on June 6th 1944 the weather permited (barely) an invasion. On the word of Eisenhower an armada of 3,000 landing craft, 2,500 other ships, and 500 naval vessels—escorts and bombardment ships—began to leave English ports. That night 822 aircraft, carrying parachutists or towing gliders, roared overhead to the Normandy landing zones. They were a fraction of the air armada of 13,000 aircraft that would support D-Day.
On this day alone over 2,000 men lost their lives in a heroic fashion. What is sad to me is that I am certain that many of these men were were not followers of Christ. It is with this thought that I encourage you to use this day to remember those who made it possible to live the life you live in this country, as well as to pray for the men who are currently serving this country.
In light of today’s political climate and the heroism of Eisenhower that we remember on this day, I think that “Ike’s” prayer from his inauguration speech is appropriate.
“Almighty God, as we stand here at this moment my future associates in the Executive branch of Government join me in beseeching that Thou will make full and complete our dedication to the service of the people in this throng, and their fellow citizens everywhere.Give us, we pray, the power to discern clearly right from wrong, and allow all our words and actions to be governed thereby, and by the laws of this land. Especially we pray that our concern shall be for all the people regardless of station, race or calling.
May cooperation be permitted and be the mutual aim of those who, under the concepts of our Constitution, hold to differing political faiths; so that all may work for the good of our beloved country and Thy glory. Amen.”