The Omaha Beach landing, as depicted in Saving Private Ryan ranks as one of the best sequences in film, since it gives us a true sense of what it was like that day. D-Day wasn’t the most epic nor pivotal battle of World War II, but its symbolism was huge. It was the dramatic, direct assault on Hitler’s Reich. While Allied troops had been battling on European soil in Italy since 1943, D-Day was a dramatic escalation. Several thousand men were killed that day, thousands more wounded, many gravely so. It’s hard to imagine what was going through the minds of these guys. Probably a ton of fear, impatience, dread, anger. Heres the story of a medic who was 22 when he took part in D-Day. He’s still haunted by the horror of his experiences and the men he couldn’t save.
In the 21st century we have a dearth of men that we can look up to. There is a conscious effort to wipe out traditional masculinity and to equate quitters with heroes. Its painfully obvious that popular media outlets and mainstream opinion makers have no interest in keeping alive the memory of the brutal battles American men have fought over the centuries to defeat the forces of evil that sought to consume us. Though D-Day was a punishing event in history, the mission was clear and the enemy defined, secure a beachhead by killing the Germans defending it. Today the enemies we face are less defined. To quote the Roman philosopher Cicero:
“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”
We men of the 21st century face enemies just as sinister as the Nazis and Communists of battles past. Their ideologies however have brainwashed millions of our fellow citizens to an astonishing degree. We’ve got an obligation to identify and face our enemies, challenge their poisonous lies, and refute their historical distortions.
Much has been written about the heroism and bravery of the men who fought on D-Day. I’m sure most of them were scared shitless, but they showed up. Courage isn’t the same as fearlessness, its doing what you fear.