Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Longest Day

“These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.”

Ronald Reagan, June 6, 1984

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Standing on a craggy overlook jutting into the English Channel Ronald Reagan delivered those words 35 years ago on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the beginning of the D-day invasion. By then the “boys” were already boys no more. The few who are still with us are now all in their 90’s. Some have come to today’s anniversary ceremony adjacent to the American cemetery in Normandy where 9,388 men are interred.

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That represents a lot of toxic masculinity left strewn along the beaches of Normandy on this, the longest day.

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The day thousands upon thousands of American, British and Canadian forces stormed ashore to liberate Europe from the yoke of Nazi tyranny. 

These real world heroes liberated Europe and saved Western Civilization from another dark period of despotic rule. No movie, no matter how realistic can adequately relate the terror of that fight - which would be the last for many. Battling first through the terror and seasickness of the landing crafts tossed about in 8 foot waves, then through the wind and the cold rising tide of the surf just to reach the land mined beaches where German rifles, machine guns and cannons reigned fire down on them from the cliffs above. The slaughter was unimaginable, the suffering inconceivable, the price of freedom nearly incomprehensible.

These were true heroes who though frightened beyond fear itself still stormed the shore with bravery unknown by most today. And those who survived that still had to scale the towering cliffs to take out the German guns. These men saved not just Europe but democracy itself. That’s right, they saved democracy. In order to allow those who’ve never known any real hardship in their lives the freedom to denounce men like these old white guys for being symbols of “patriarchy” and decry their toxic masculinity. Feeling themselves more “woke” than the men who afforded them the privilege to entertain such contrived First World problems they feel justified in their judgement.

So join me in commemorating all that toxic masculinity that suffered through the D-Day invasion in order to make our lives possible. They truly were the Greatest Generation. And we owe them much.

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Never Forget