Remembering The Boys Of Pointe du Hoc

Today is the 68th anniversary of D-Day — the Allied invasion of Europe as part of the great campaign to wipe the scourge of Nazism off the face of the Earth and restore peace and democracy.  It was a bloody, terrible day, but the beachhead was secured, the invasion went forward, and ultimately the enemy was defeated.

In 1984 President Reagan used the occasion of the 40th anniversary of D-Day to give one of the greatest speeches he ever delivered.  He stood on the soil of Normandy, faced a group of Army Rangers — the “Boys of Pointe du Hoc” — who had acted with unbelievable courage in fulfilling their role in the battle plan on June 6, 1944, and talked about the deeply felt beliefs that motivated those men, and the brave citizens of every participating nation, to endure the sacrifices necessary to rescue the people of Europe from tyranny.  The speech was deeply moving to anyone who felt pride in those sacrifices and profound appreciation for the Boys of Pointe du Hoc and their fellow Allied soldiers.

The RealClearPolitics website reprinted the speech today to commemorate the anniversary of D-Day.  It’s well worth reading, and contemplating.  As with so many great speeches, its meaning remains fresh, even though the Iron Curtain and the challenge to peace that existed in 1984 has passed, to be replaced by the challenges Europe faces today.  It remains important for us to remember what happened 68 years ago, and why, and to ask anew:  “Who were these men?”

4 thoughts on “Remembering The Boys Of Pointe du Hoc

  1. Thank you for this post.

    A visit to the beaches of Normandy and the cliffs of Ponte du Hoc was one of the highlights of a family vacation in France several years ago. Many of the concrete “pill boxes” manned by the Nazi army on D-day are still in place and you can walk through them and imagine what the U.S. army rangers faced after scaling the cliffs of Pont du Hoc.

    The 1962 movie “The Longest Day” (which probably should be subtitled “The Longest Movie”) remains my favorite film reenactment of D-Day.

    Thanks again.


  2. It’s a stunningly moving speech. Reagan was not afraid to articulate with confidence principles of Truth and Beauty, an attributei increasingly rare in our more relativistic time.


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