The gray dawn of a momentous day loomed on the horizon as thousands of soldiers prepared themselves for war.
On June 6, 1944, United States Commander-in-Chief Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered these words of challenge and encouragement to the men and women of the U.S. Armed Services and the Allied Expeditionary Forces as they steeled themselves for the brutal fight ahead.
Read them with gratefulness for those who sacrificed so much on your behalf, and let them be an inspiration for you and me to rise up and meet the challenges of our age with the same courage and determination as the generations who have gone before.
(Thanks to Jim Patch for sending this.)
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCES
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force!
You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
Your task will not be an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened.
He will fight savagely.
But this is the year 1944! Much has happened since the Nazi triumphs of 1940-41. The United Nations have inflicted upon the Germans great defeats, in open battle, man-to-man. Our air offensive has seriously reduced their strength in the air and their capacity to wage overwhelming superiority in weapons and munitions of war, and placed at our disposal great reserves of trained fighting men. The tide has turned! The free men of the world are marching together to Victory!
I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle. We will accept nothing less than full Victory!
Good Luck! And let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.