By by Candice Lanier, The Christian Post
Veterans Day is the day on which we thank and honor those who serve and have served in the military. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 21.8 million military vets in the U.S. Over 1.3 million of those served during multiple wars–837,000 in both Gulf War eras, 211,000 in both the Korean War and Vietnam era and 147,000 in World War II and Korea. There were 49,500 who served in both the Vietnam War and both Gulf War eras and 54,000 who served during the Korean War, Vietnam War and World War II.
President Ronald Reagan understood the huge sacrifice those who serve make and one of his noteworthy speeches honoring military veterans took place on the 40th anniversary of D-Day. The ceremony took place on the northern coast of France, on the spot where Allied soldiers had stormed ashore to liberate Europe from the Nazis–at the site of the U.S. Ranger Monument at Pointe du Hoc.
Gathered together at this event were D-Day veterans and world leaders, including Queen Elizabeth II (UK), King Olav V (Norway), Queen Beatrix (The Netherlands), King Baudouin I (Belgium), Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau (Canada) and Grand Duke Jean (Luxembourg).
The following is an excerpt from that address:
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.