Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Honoring our military veterans: For their service here and in foreign lands
I visited the American Cemetery and Memorial in Colleville-sur-Mer, Normandy, France, in November 2006. It is on the bluff above Omaha Beach and has a breathtaking view. It overlooks the area where troops of the U.S. Army, 1st Division and 29th Division, landed on D-Day, June 6, 1944 . It honors American soldiers and airmen who lost their lives during the landing and fighting on this stretch of French beach. Airmen who flew missions from English bases, as fighter and bomber pilots and crews, and the men who flew gliders and transports, are also buried here. The 172-acre site contains perfectly straight rows of white crosses and the remains of 9,387 American military dead. To look out over these crosses is a humbling experience. It leaves you speechless. I felt tremendous respect for each of these lives lost in service to our country. We honor these veterans today along with every man and woman who serves today, and those who have fought and died all over the world in defense of our freedom and liberty.