On D-Day and Beyond, We Need Some Bravery
I posted a tweet storm this morning on this, the anniversary of D-Day. You can click on the tweet and scroll down the page to see it pan out.
But if you're not Twitter-inclined, here's the 140-ish characters:
Today is the anniversary of a momentous day in the history of the world: D-Day.
More than 160,000 Allied troops made the largest seaborne invasion in human history. For perspective, B/CS is close to 200,000 residents.
James Earl Rudder called B/CS home. The general led one of the world’s bravest efforts in scaling Pointe du Hoc. Despite a needing a cane, Gen. Theodore Roosevelt Jr. landed in the first wave and led his troops. Roosevelt (the son of a president, no less) has more of his story of bravery chronicled here, along with others. And journalists like Ernie Pyle, the namesake of my journalism school, informed the world about what happened. Pyle wrote, "Now that it is over it seems to me a pure miracle that we ever took the beach at all." How true those words must be.
The great Tom Brokaw would pen, “A common lament of the World War II generation is the absence today of personal responsibility."
Today, we have too many people whose “bravery” is found in shadows and anonymity online, spewing evil, sewing distrust and creating sorrow. We have too many “leaders” who intentionally lie, mislead and/or are woefully ignorant to the world. They grasp to power instead of leading. We have too many journalists and media groups that don’t present truth without bias. They present shouting before true facts and info.
Shadows and anonymity are no excuse for evil. Ignorance and lies should lack a place within power. Truth should come before noise. Each of us needs to look deep into our minds, hearts and souls and find ways to improve each other and ourselves each day. And we must not be bowed by those who seek to divide us through misinformation, violence, cowardly acts and hateful words.
It’s easy to say we face unprecedented challenges today, but on June 6, 1944, young men could have said the same. And they charged a beach.
Today’s service members stand ready to charge into danger as well. First responders on the home front do daily for our safety and freedom. Just some of that bravery must find its way into the minds and hearts of all Americans, from the “average” citizen to the nation’s leaders. We must come together, finding common ground despite our differences, showing respect within our disagreements, all to better each other.
My late grandfather had books of Ernie Pyle, who himself lost his life on World War II’s battlefields. The final paragraph of one of those books provides a guiding light in dark times. I hope things get brighter soon:
"And all of us together will have to learn how to reassemble our broken world into a pattern so firm and so fair that another great war cannot soon be possible. To tell the simple truth, most of us over in France don't pretend to know the right answer. Submersion in war does not necessarily qualify a man to be the master of the peace. All we can do is fumble and try once more -- try out of the memory of our anguish -- and be as tolerant with each other as we can."