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Remembering the heroes of D-Day

The Honorable Newt Gingrich

Seventy-five years ago this week, on June 6, 1944, 156,000 Allied Forces stormed the beaches of Normandy, France.

It was D-Day, a bloody day that marked a significant turning point of World War II, when Allied Forces began to beat back the depraved tyranny of Adolf Hitler and his Nazis in Western Europe. D-Day would prove decisive to the Allied victory, although it came at great cost. According to the U.S. National D-Day Memorial Foundation, 4,413 Allied troops gave their lives to take the beaches, including 2,499 Americans.

I decided to focus on D-Day – and specifically the historic radio address by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt the evening of the invasion – in this week’s episode of my Newt’s World podcast.

D-Day took years of planning, by the Americans, British, and Canadians (in coordination with Soviets). The top-secret invasion was called “Operation Overlord” and was led by future president Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, who served as the Supreme Allied Commander.

It was among the most brutal, challenging, unforgiving military maneuvers in World War II. Allied Forces had to be shipped up to the beach in incredibly rough surf. Before they could even fight the Nazis who were holding the beach, Allied troops had to fight the tide and waves, as they waded – under fire and carrying all their equipment – to the shore.

When they got there, they were on the lowest ground of the battlefield. They faced a fully fortified bank that they had to charge and climb to take the beach. In addition to constant gunfire, they had to avoid barricades, mines, and all manner of threats.

If you have never been to the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer, France, it is well worth visiting to get a sense of the sacrifice these soldiers made to protect freedom in Europe.

I hope you will take a moment this week to listen to the episode and remember the bravery, courage, and faith of the Allied soldiers who dared to take this beach and defeat tyranny and evil.

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