4 Responses to Bing Remembers D-Day

  • Google sucks.

  • Bing also celebrated Memorial day with a picture of the Tomb of the Unknown. I have switched to Bing as my default search engine.

  • My kids were raving about the “pretty picture” on their login.
    I simplified it to “yes, that’s in France. A very important thing happened there, I’ll explain when you’re older.”

    (Before someone gets concerned: We already did the tough Memorial Day talk about how soldiers will fight to protect what’s right, and some of them don’t come back. At which point the Princess put on a very serious six-year-old expression and said: “That means they got dead-ed. Died-ed.” We must be doing something right in their entertainment choices, because the idea that you can die doing something that’s right struck them as sad but natural for the older two. Even if they did put it in terms of the Justice League cartoon.)

  • Do not think that Google inadvertently ignored D-Day.
    .
    “Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past.” Instapundit quoted.

June 6, 1944: D-Day-FDR Prayer

Monday, June 6, AD 2016

(The video inserts material not related to D-Day.  I will give it a pass.  D-Day, with the passage of the decades, has become a symbol of the entire US war effort in World War II, an effort which deserves to be remembered.)

 

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.
And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.
They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.
They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
Many people have urged that I call the Nation into a single day of special prayer. But because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in a continuance of prayer. As we rise to each new day, and again when each day is spent, let words of prayer be on our lips, invoking Thy help to our efforts.
Give us strength, too – strength in our daily tasks, to redouble the contributions we make in the physical and the material support of our armed forces.
And let our hearts be stout, to wait out the long travail, to bear sorrows that may come, to impart our courage unto our sons wheresoever they may be.
And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade. Let not the keenness of our spirit ever be dulled. Let not the impacts of temporary events, of temporal matters of but fleeting moment let not these deter us in our unconquerable purpose.
With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy. Help us to conquer the apostles of greed and racial arrogancies. Lead us to the saving of our country, and with our sister Nations into a world unity that will spell a sure peace a peace invulnerable to the schemings of unworthy men. And a peace that will let all of men live in freedom, reaping the just rewards of their honest toil.
Thy will be done, Almighty God.
Amen.

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June 6, 1984: Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

Monday, June 6, AD 2016

 

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty 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.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — at the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine-guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

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2 Responses to June 6, 1984: Reagan’s Speech on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6, 1944: The Great Crusade

Monday, June 6, AD 2016

 

 

SUPREME HEADQUARTERS
ALLIED EXPEDITIONARY FORCE

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 war on the ground. Our Home Fronts have given us an 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 and 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.

(Signed, ‘Dwight D. Eisenhower’)

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Father Ranger

Sunday, June 5, AD 2016

raaen&lacy

The men of the 5th Ranger Battalion could barely keep from laughing when they first saw their chaplain, Lieutenant Joe Lacy, a week before D-Day.  These were young men, in peak physical condition.  Father Joe Lacy was old by Ranger standards, knocking on 40, overweight by at least 30 pounds, wearing thick glasses and short, 5 foot, six inches.  He was described by one Ranger as “a small, fat old Irishman.”  No way would he be able to keep up when they  invaded France.

 

On the trip across the Channel to France,  Chaplain Lacy told the men:  “When you land on the beach and you get in there, I don’t want to see anybody kneeling down and praying. If I do I’m gonna come up and boot you in the tail. You leave the praying to me and you do the fighting.”  A few of the men began to think that maybe this priest was tougher than he looked.

On June 6, 1944 at 7:30 AM,  LCA 1377 landed the Rangers on Omaha Dog Green Beach, the first landing craft to land on that section of Omaha Beach.  Father Lacy was the last man out just before an artillery shell hit the fantail.  Everything was chaos with the beach being swept by German artillery and small arms fire.  Wounded men were everywhere, both on the beach and in the water feebly trying to get to the beach.  Father Lacy did not hesitate.  With no thought for his own safety he waded into the water to pull men out of the ocean and onto the beach.  He began treating the wounded on the beach and administering the Last Rites to those beyond human assistance.  On a day when courage was not in short supply men took notice of this small fat priest who was doing his best under fire to save as many lives as he could.  While his battalion led the way off Omaha Beach, and sustained 50% casualties doing so, Father Lacy continued to tend their  wounded and the wounded of other units.  For his actions that day Father Lacy was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the second highest decoration for valor, after the Medal of Honor, in the United States Army.

Here is the text of his citation:

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3 Responses to Father Ranger

  • I am an Army Chaplain and recently served in a Ranger Battalion. At a ceremony in 2012, I met a veteran of 5th Ranger Battalion on D-Day who sought me out to tell me about Father Joe Lacy. He retold the part about the “boot you in the tail” speech. I was honored that this aging hero sought me out to convey the story.

    I recently published a book titled “Jesus Was an Airborne Ranger” (Multnomah, 2015). In chapter 8, I include Father Lacy’s story as a part of a section on Normandy. Somehow, I feel like the old veteran entrusted me with this story so that it could be retold.

    Thank you for your part in keeping Father Lacy’s legacy alive.

  • Thank you for your kind comments John and for your service.

  • I’m so proud of my nephew, Chaplain John McDougall and of his witness of God’s Word!

D-Day on Film

Saturday, June 6, AD 2015

 

 

There have been surprisingly few movies on D-Day, as indicated by the fact that three out of the five videos looked at below are from television miniseries.  Here are the five best from  a scarce lot:

5. Ike: The War Years (1978)

Robert Duvall as Eisenhower gives his usual riveting performance.  The late Lee Remick  gives a good performance as Captain Kay Summersby, the British driver/secretary assigned to Eisenhower.  Unfortunately the miniseries centers around the relationship of Eisenhower and Summersby, a relationship which is subject to historical dispute.

4.  Ike: Countdown to D-Day (1995)

Tom Selleck gives a very good portrayal of Eisenhower in the days leading up to D-Day.  The video does a first rate job of portraying the problems that Eisenhower confronted:  getting prima donnas like Montgomery and Patton to work as a part of a team, concerns about the weather, the deception campaign to convince the Nazis that Calais would be the invasion site, etc.  The video also shines a light on the weight of responsibility which Eisenhower bore, especially when we see him write out a note just before the invasion taking full responsibility on his shoulders if it failed.

3.  Band of Brothers (2001)

The epic miniseries covering the exploits of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne, captures well the chaos of the parachute and glider operations behind German lines that were so critical a part of the Allied victory on D-Day.

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Franciscan Paratrooper

Sunday, July 13, AD 2014

Father Ignatius Maternowski

For love of Him they ought to expose themselves to enemies both visible and invisible.

Saint Francis of Assisi

Ignatius Maternowski entered this Vale of Tears on March 28, 1912, in Holyoke, Massachusetts, the son of Polish immigrants  He attended, appropriately enough, Saint Francis High School.  Impressed by the Franciscans he encountered there, he decided to become a Franciscan priest.  He was ordained to the priesthood on July 3, 1938.  His gift for preaching manifesting itself, he was assigned as a missionary-preacher at the friary of Saint Anthony of Padua in Elicott City, Maryland.

From the time of Pearl Harbor he sought permission to serve as a chaplain and in July 1942 he enlisted in the Army.  He served as a chaplain in the 508th regiment of the 82nd Airborne.  In the aftermath of the chaotic combat drop into Normandy on the night before D-Day, Captain Maternowski busied himself in tending both American and German wounded.

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6 Responses to Franciscan Paratrooper

  • Mater Dolorosa Cemetery has two beautiful circles in the roadways. One is where Fr. Maternowski’s memorial stone is set with many other Friars, and can be seen on the video. The other is reserved for an exceptionally beautiful statue of our Blessed Mother. Mater Dolorosa Parish church was closed three years ago after the Corpus Christi procession around the Church in my hometown. A striking circular rainbow appeared around the sun at around noon when the procession was just returning to the front of the church marking the day for memories. The building has stained glass windows which depict, on one side, the joyful and glorious mysteries beginning with the visit by Gabriel and, on the gospel side, the sorrowful mysteries beginning with the prophecy of Simeon. It is my fondest hope that these are preserved in a way that proclaims the faith to many more people. I understand that these helped working people who couldn’t read to learn the faith.

  • Thank you for the additional info Pat.

  • We will never know if the German sniper knew he was shooting a priest in the back–nor if the sniper was ordered to do it at that exact moment.

  • This is another great WWII story I was unaware of.

    One great thing about the United States of America is that people can come from anywhere and become Americans.

    Fr. Maternowski was just such a great American, a martyr for the Faith – and a brave man of Polish descent.

  • Thank you for posting this story with the video. Our service members need military chaplains, especialy those servicemen in harms way. I worry in this political climate that the chaplain corps will be disestablished.

  • Cam: “I worry in this political climate that the chaplain corps will be disestablished.”
    .
    “or prohibit the free exercise thereof.” The First Amendment. Government, the state, cannot interfer with or burden the free exercise of religion by refusing funding for chaplains, especially while chaplains are necessary to minister to troops in harms way. During the government shut down Obama refused to allow chaplains to say Mass on the military bases. Obama behaved as though He owned the chaplains and the men. Obama does not even own the military bases nor does Obama own the government, although he like to believe that he does. The government is constituted by the people. When government becomes predatory it must be replaced.
    .
    “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” from The Declaration of Independence.
    .
    Shooting a chaplain in the back. That is all the Nazis were good for.

4 Responses to The Longest Day

  • Courageous and unwilling to compromise with evil.
    Truly the Greatest Generation!
    God bless them and pray we discover the courage and fortitude to live life worthy of their sacrifice.

  • Without them most of us would not be here today and those who are here would be in a very different world.

  • So many of our nation’s young people could not tell you what D-Day is (was).

    What a shame.

    Great post.

    Thank you.

  • Charlie S. Burk, a 95 year old healthy D-Day veteran, who is childless and a widower since1980, and lives alone in a house he bought new in 1972, told me Friday while we were having lunch at McDonald’s and he was enjoying one of his favorites – Friday cod fish sandwich special ($1.59) and milk – about what the Germans put into the water, and what it looked like, to prevent or interrupt any attempt to land there. He also commented on the reality of the movie The Longest Day. This movie “news-reel” (which was shown in movie theaters before the invention of television) and video of the West Point Cadets Choir singing The Longest Day, brought to life what he described to me. As I looked around and saw young adults going about their normal activity in a restaurant, the thought occurred to me that they haven’t got a clue of what Charlie and the rest of those guys did that day so they, these kids, could be doing what they were doing today, and living the lives they got.

    Charlie was the 6th child (18 months old) out of 7 children who were orphaned when their father committed their mother to a mental hospital and then abandoned them. All of his brothers and sisters, but the oldest who got adopted, were raised in a Catholic orphanage outside Chicago, Ill. He left when he was 16 years old and has been on his own ever since.

FDR’s D-Day Prayer

Friday, June 6, AD 2014

My fellow Americans: Last night, when I spoke with you about the fall of Rome, I knew at that moment that troops of the United States and our allies were crossing the Channel in another and greater operation. It has come to pass with success thus far.

And so, in this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:

Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.

Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness in their faith.

They will need Thy blessings. Their road will be long and hard. For the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. Success may not come with rushing speed, but we shall return again and again; and we know that by Thy grace, and by the righteousness of our cause, our sons will triumph.

They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest-until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violences of war.

For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.

Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.

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2 Responses to FDR’s D-Day Prayer

  • Words that that godless man of sin and depravity Barack Hussein Obama would never pray:
    .
    Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
    .
    And for us at home – fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas – whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them – help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice.
    .
    And, O Lord, give us Faith. Give us Faith in Thee; Faith in our sons; Faith in each other; Faith in our united crusade.
    .
    With Thy blessing, we shall prevail over the unholy forces of our enemy.
    .
    Thy will be done, Almighty God.

  • The opening line reminds us of how pivotal June 1944 was, and especially June 5th. That day saw not only the fall of Rome to the Allies but also the sailing of two massive invasion fleets, for the Normandy invasion and the Marianas invasion.

Reagan on D-Day

Friday, June 6, AD 2014

Reagan gave the above speech on the 40th anniversary of D-Day.  Today is the 70th anniversary of the longest day, and there are only a precious few of those men who stormed the beaches who still remain with us.  Time to remember them on this day and every day:

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty.  For four long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow.  Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation.  Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue.  here in Normandy the rescue began.  Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but forty 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.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers on the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up.  When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting only ninety could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

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One Response to Reagan on D-Day

  • A real President and a real man truly deserving of the high office he held. I hope that he is in Heaven with Pope Saint John Paul II. What they must be saying to each other over the nation that has replaced the America which they knew!

D-Day: A French Priest is Grateful

Friday, June 6, AD 2014

Today, seventy years on, this is heart warming:

 

As a Frenchman and as a priest, I’m really aware of what we owe this young generation of soldiers who died for us French to be free,” said Father Pujos, 44, who is a parochial vicar and chaplain at St. Catherine School.

Without his freedom, he may not have become a priest, he said.

“I’m a priest today … because I was raised in a free country, not occupied by the Nazis, nor by the Russian communists after World War II like half of Europe,” Father Pujos said.

As a young boy growing up in Paris, his family instilled in him a deep respect and appreciation for the sacrifice of thousands of soldiers who died that day.

During the Normandy invasion, called D-Day, some 156,000 allied troops launched the largest seaborne invasion in history against the German-occupied northern France and into Western Europe.

Causalities reached an estimated 12,000 that day along the 50-mile stretch of the Normandy beach. The victory contributed to the allied forces’ eventual victory over Nazi Germany.

His grandparents and parents, Jerome and Sylvie Pujos, always spoke to him about it. When he was young, his grandmother took him to the American cemetery in Normandy to pay their respect for the soldiers.

“I have a deep memory of the cemetery with all these thousands of tombs,” he said. “Each time I think about this cemetery, I get emotional because it’s striking.”

He recalls seeing row after row of white crosses marking the graves of young Americans.

“The field of crosses were perfectly taken care of and maintained,” he said. “As you got closer to the tombs, you would see the age of the soldiers. They were kids—18 or 21 years old.

“I will never forget about it,” Father Pujos said.

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One Response to D-Day: A French Priest is Grateful

  • Touching story. Americans not portrayed as war mongers! What a breath of fresh air. Thanks for bringing Fr. Pujus’ point of view.

The Great Crusade

Friday, June 6, AD 2014

Eisenhower, on D-Day morning distributed to the troops a general order, which is like a handbill, and everybody read it.  And he said “we are about to embark upon the great crusade, which we have been preparing for, for many months” etc.

Now at first none of us could believe it was anything like a crusade, because we were playing dice, and we were thinking about girls all the time and getting drunk as possible and so forth.  It wasn’t like a crusade, there was not religious dimension to whatever.  When they finally got across France and into Germany, and saw the German death camps, they realized that they had been in engaged in something like a crusade, although none of them called it that.  And it all began to make a kind of sense to us.

Paul Fussell

 

 

 

Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a 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 war on the ground. Our home fronts have given us an 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 all beseech the blessings of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

 

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One Response to The Great Crusade

Father Airborne

Friday, June 6, AD 2014

 

Father Francis Sampson

A leap year baby, Francis L. Sampson  was born on February 29, 1912 in Cherokee Iowa.

A quarter of a century later he graduated from Notre Dame and made a bee-line for St. Paul’s Seminary at Saint Paul Minnesota.  Ordained a priest for the Des Moines Iowa diocese on June 1, 1941, he served briefly as a parish priest at Neola, Iowa and taught at Dowling High School in Des Moines.

Eager to become a chaplain, as soon as he received permission from his Bishop Father Sampson enlisted in the United States Army in 1942.  Always looking for a challenge, he became regimental chaplain of the 501st Parachute Regiment of the 101rst Airborne.  In his memoirs, Look Out Below!, Father Sampson wrote about his joining a very tough branch of the service:

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One Response to Father Airborne

Pope Benedict on D-Day

Tuesday, June 3, AD 2014

On the 6th of June, 1944, when the landing of the allied troops in German-occupied France commenced, a signal of hope was given to people throughout the world, and also to many in Germany itself, of imminent peace and freedom in Europe.  What had happened?  A criminal and his party faithful had succeeded in usurping the power of the German state. In consequence of such party rule, law and injustice became intertwined, and often indistinguishable. The legal system itself, which continued, in some respects, still to function in an everyday context, had, at the same time, become a force destructive of law and right. This rule of lies served a system of fear, in which no one could trust another, since each person had somehow to shield himself behind a mask of lies, which, on the one hand, functioned as self defense, while, in equal measure, it served to consolidate the power of evil.  And so it was that the whole world had to intervene to force open this ring of crime, so that freedom, law and justice might be restored.

We give thanks at this hour that this deliverance, in fact, took place. And not just those nations that suffered occupation by German troops, and were thus delivered over to Nazi terror, give thanks. We Germans, too, give thanks that by this action, freedom, law and justice would be restored to us.  If nowhere else in history, here clearly is a case where, in the form of the Allied invasion, a justum bellum worked, ultimately, for the benefit of the very country against which it was waged.

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11 Responses to Pope Benedict on D-Day

  • What an awesome insight. Benedict speaks the truth with such clarity. This statement carries real power because it is imbued with real virtues of faith hope and love backed by reason and truth (humility). I love this man!

  • What Anzlyne says about Pope Benedict is so true. “A criminal and his party faithful had succeeded in usurping the power of the German state. In consequence of such party rule, law and injustice became intertwined, and often indistinguishable”
    .
    Only our Constitution has prevented some people from being killed for speaking out against government’s position on abortion, euthanasia, pornography and the state takeover of public lands and waterways. Some of us have been killed in the womb and euthanized. The rest of us are being forced by taxation to pay for it. But none of us are acknowledged as having an immortal soul in this atheistic mire.

  • “We,”First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution

  • “We Germans…”?

  • Yep, the Pope Emeritus is German.

  • The Second World War was not fought to liberate Germany from Nazi tyranny. It was fought for the same reason that the previous war was fought; to prevent an aggressive and militaristic Germany from imposing her will on other nations by force of arms. The rationale behind the long struggle against Bonaparte was basically the same. The nature of the regime was a factor in German aggression, but had Hitler been content with a revision of Germany’s eastern borders to mitigate the worst aspects of the Versailles Treaty (this was what Stresemann wanted at Locarno in 1925, and arguably got it in principle) then there would not have been a war.

    The main actor in the defeat of Nazi tyranny was another tyranny even more genocidal than Hitler’s, so to see the war in terms of a moral crusade is ludicrous. The plotters of July 1944 could claim moral justification for tyrannicide but their main motive was patriotic; they wanted to save Germany from total defeat and subjugation. In this they were naïve, since the Allies would not have agreed to a negotiated peace at this stage of the war, even with the Nazis out of the way. Churchill, with his visceral hatred of Bolshevism, might have been tempted, but Stalin would never have agreed and Roosevelt would have sided with Stalin.

    I suppose if you’re going to be invaded it’s better to be invaded by the British and Americans rather than by the Soviets; many of the occupied countries, not to mention a sizeable chunk of Germany, merely exchanged one tyranny for another.

  • “so to see the war in terms of a moral crusade is ludicrous.”

    Complete and utter rubbish.

  • …On stilts!

  • “We,” First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution.
    Justice is predicated on intent. Capital one homicide is predicated on the intent and murder of another person. The innocent, newly begotten child in the womb has been invited to live in the womb by the parents, mother and father, without whom there would be no invitation. The word invite INVITE means to offer life.
    .
    Immediate death must be the only reason or situation here a child in utero may be removed, to save the life of the mother and/or of the child.
    .
    “We, hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal…” Men are CREATED EQUAL… not born equal. The sovereign person in the womb has been identified by his existence as Homo-Sapiens, “an individual substance of a rational nature” the person: “I AM”, created and endowed by our Creator with an immortal human soul.
    .
    ““We Germans…”?”
    .
    When a person renounces his citizenship by an act of the will or commits treason he loses his citizenship. When a person commits a heinous sin he is excommunicated and so on. When an individual behaves like a demon, his sovereign personhood is placed in suspended animation and he functions, possessed by his particular demon. The Nazis behaved like Nazis and therefore, having created a culture of Nazism, they suspended their own sovereignty and became hated by God, hated by themselves and hated by others as genocidal maniacs.
    .
    It is important to note that Nazis through a free will act chose to be Nazis.

  • “”We,” First Person Plural, are the persons in the Constitution.” from the Preamble, the unchangeable purpose of the Constitution. “We” and our constitutional posterity, all future generations are human persons because the state does not create or endow sovereign personhood to an individual. The state merely certifies sovereign personhood. The state certifies sovereign personhood as citizenship.
    .
    Atheism, as you can see, is the cause of the state’s rejection of all unalienable human and civil rights. Acknowledgement of the human being in existence as a person is denied by the state. The state cannot remove or deny sovereign personhood. Yet, the state has denied the acknowledgement of sovereign personhood to the one celled fertilized human egg who has been endowed by our Creator with life and growth, the proof of an immortal human soul.
    .
    The atheist as a sovereign person in suspended animation must be tolerated until he chooses to adhere to the truth of the Constitution. Atheism is unconstitutional.

  • “I suppose if you’re going to be invaded it’s better to be invaded by the British and Americans rather than by the Soviets; many of the occupied countries, not to mention a sizeable chunk of Germany, merely exchanged one tyranny for another.”
    .
    You have confused the Allies with Stalin.

70 Years Ago This Week

Monday, June 2, AD 2014

The video above was produced 7 years ago.  If D-Day were to occur today under the current administration I suspect that the coverage of most of the media would be in the nature of  “OBAMA STORMS ASHORE IN NORMANDY!” or “THE NAZIS ARE AFRAID OF OBAMA!”.  When the press isn’t in the tank however, their coverage of military matters normally is in accord with this sarcastic comment of General Robert E. Lee:

“We made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers.”

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7 Responses to 70 Years Ago This Week

  • Great video — but they left out that Eisenhower had no “exit strategy”.

    No, we could not do D-day today. Gen. Patton would have been in fact fired for slapping a soldier. The press would never have cooperated in keeping all the secrets that needed to be kept. Most important, public support for the war would probably have melted away by 1943.

  • I am not so sure Thomas. Few people looking at America in the 1930s would have predicted that she could have performed so heroically and successfully as the nation did in World War II. Life and death challenges can bring forward unusual amounts of energy and determination in nations as well as individuals.

  • Among the many memorable actions of D-Day was the start of the battle of the Vercors plateau when in response to General de Gaulle’s broadcast signal of 5 June 1944, « le chamois des Alpes bondit » [The chamois of the Alps leaps forth] 4,000 maquisards occupied the mountainous area of Vassieux-en-Vercors in South-Eastern France – about as far away from the Normandy beaches as it is possible to get – and tied up some 11,000 German troops for over a month.
    Similar, smaller campaigns were waged all over the South and South West, in the hopes of deceiving the Germans into thinking the Normandy landings were a feint, with the real attack coming in the South.
    For at least one major component, the Spanish exiles, their armed struggle against Fascism had begun not on 18 June 1940 but on 17 July 1936. In the South-West, they eventually liberated 17 towns.

  • Omaha seems to me to be the American equivalent of the first day of the Battle of the Somme; a lot of factors, including luck, combining to create a near-catastrophe. The decision to decline the offer of AVREs (Hobart’s ‘funnies’) for no compelling reason; the inadequacy of the naval gunfire and air support (in contrast with what happened on the British and Canadian beaches); the launching of the DD tanks too far out from the shore; the inevitable failures of command and control. Like the Somme it was a bad start to an ultimately successful operation.

  • This is great: “We made a great mistake in the beginning of our struggle, and I fear, in spite of all we can do, it will prove to be a fatal mistake. We appointed all our worst generals to command our armies, and all our best generals to edit the newspapers.”
    (Lee)
    Thanks for sharing your insights into history Donald. I hope lots of younger people are reading this blog and learning the people and events of history are Not old news, but really are still current, still powerful.

  • Don

    One defeat after another. Omaha beach, then Cherbourg, Falise, Paris and on and on. I just don’t understand why the Germans surrendered when they had up on the rope at the Elbe.

    I do not support military censorship of the press, but it has been my observation the quality of the coverage nose dives when the press gets there and takes over from the military journalists.

  • “If I had my choice I would kill every reporter in the world but I am sure we would be getting reports from hell before breakfast.”

    “I think I know what military fame is; to be killed on the field of battle and have your name misspelled in the newspapers.”

    William T. Sherman

First US Army Group

Sunday, June 1, AD 2014

“There is one great thing that you men will all be able to say after this war is over and you are home once again. You may be thankful that twenty years from now when you are sitting by the fireplace with your grandson on your knee and he asks you what you did in the great World War II, you WON’T have to cough, shift him to the other knee and say, “Well, your Granddaddy shoveled sh-t in Louisiana.” No, Sir, you can look him straight in the eye and say, “Son, your Granddaddy rode with the Great Third Army and a Son-of-a-G-dd—ed-B—h named Georgie Patton!”

General George S. Patton, Jr., June 5, 1944

 

General George S. Patton, Jr., not only had high military skills, he was also a skilled actor, using that skill to inspire his troops and sometimes to terrify his immediate subordinates.  After Patton was placed in the dog house due to the slapping of a private on Sicily, Army Chief of Staff George Marshall came up with the idea of using Patton as a decoy:  Marshall wrote to Eisenhower on October 21, 1943: “It seems evident to us that Patton’s movements are of great importance to German reactions and therefore should be carefully considered. I had thought and spoke to [Eisenhower’s chief of staff, Walter Bedell] Smith about Patton being given a trip to Cairo and Cyprus but the Corsican visit appeals to me as carrying much more of a threat [to northern Italy].” Eisenhower responded, “As it is I am quite sure that we must do everything possible to keep [the Germans] confused and the point you have suggested concerning Patton’s movements appeals to me as having a great deal of merit. This possibility had not previously occurred to me.”

Ironically, although the Germans after his dash across France at the head of Third Army would regard Patton as one of ablest Allied generals, prior to that time his name figures little in German intelligence reports, while constant attention was paid to the movements of Montgomery.  The plan to use Patton as a decoy was therefore based on a faulty premise, but of course Eisenhower and Marshall were completely unaware of that.

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10 Responses to First US Army Group

  • Love this great figure in US military history.

    Loved the movie.

    Thanks for the great info., some of which I was not aware of.

  • Patton was a real hero, a manly man, and so were those who served under him. Not for him would be the Army of Barack Hussein Obama – effeminate, narcissist and sissified. Oh what eloquent words of profane, vile invective he would have for Obama, his wife Jezebel and the weak-kneed, yellow bellied Democrats would be a harmonious melody of music to hear over and over again. The things he said are so anti-liberal:
    .
    “Men, this stuff that some sources sling around about America wanting out of this war, not wanting to fight, is a crock of bull$###. Americans love to fight, traditionally. All real Americans love the sting and clash of battle.”
    .
    “Americans pride themselves on being He Men and they ARE He Men.”
    .
    “We’re going to murder those lousy Hun c###s#####s by the bushel-f###ing-basket. War is a bloody, killing business. You’ve got to spill their blood, or they will spill yours. Rip them up the belly. Shoot them in the guts.”
    .
    Oh the words he would have for Obama I would so love to hear be uttered! Patton would know how to deal with the Islamic terrorists. Patton would know how to respond to Putin’s aggression against Ukraine and China’s aggression against the Philippines. But we no longer have real men as leaders. We have p#$$ified politicians more interested in promoting sexual filth and murdering unborn babies. Cowards are they one and all. They commit acts of violence against the most innocent that would make Hitler and Stalin green with envy, and then tell us it is all about human rights. Patton would be aghast. Indeed, it is only men like Patton and those who served under him who understand what real human rights are, and who are willing to fight and defeat the enemy utterly, totally and completely.
    .
    I am ashamed of the America that Obama and Jezebel and their Democrats have created. It is not the America that Patton and his men fought for.
    .
    Mors Atheismo Democratiaeque! Vive Christe Rex!

  • What this country suffers from is a wholescale sissification in its educational system and the entertainment business does nothing but cause damage.

    We see it in the Church hierarchy. Ranting about the “broken” immigration system and the (rather rare use of) the death penalty but little to nothing about abortion, homosexuality, promiscuity, contraception is what most of the Catholic Churchgoing public hears in homilies. One can count on one hand the bishops who openly confront abortionist politicians who call themselves Catholic.

    We are stuck with “Catholicrats”.

    This morning I was took my six year old to Mass and then to hockey camp. I was listening to Grove City college professor Paul Kengor substituting for Glenn Meacham. Kengor was interviewing a gentleman who fought in the Battle of the Bulge. It was a captivating interview. The courage those men had far exceeded any courage I have had.

  • Donald, wasn’t sure how to reach out by email, but I appreciate the thoughtful exchange on ‘Killing the Messenger.’ I regret some found it necessary to derail the entire conversation. Best Regards, Wayne

  • My dad was in the Third Army with Patton. I love Patton.
    Did you know that he converted to Catholicism on his deathbed.

  • Interesting stuff. My favorite line from that great movie “Patton”, is when he is trying to out maneuver Rommel in N. Africa:

    Patton: “Rommel… you magnificent bastard, I read your book!”

  • PWP, I hope you feel better after that exemplary eruption. I know that for reading it, I certainly do. Bravo. Viva Christo Rey!

  • I wasn’t aware that he converted to Catholicism. There is an Episcopal church here in San Gabriel, California just a few blocks away from my home that prominently features the Patton family name on various memorials. There’s also a life sized statue of Gen Patton on the grounds next to the cemetery. Every Memorial Day my wife and I take the kids to the San Gabriel Mission where there is a small plaque honoring the local war dead and veterans, and we say a prayer and leave flowers. In the future we may carry out the tradition at the Patton statue, as long as we can be sure his ghost isn’t haunting the church grounds and cursing obscenities. ; )

  • Patton was a victim of ‘political correctness’ long before the term was invented. Lord knows what he would have made of female combat soldiers and enforced tolerance of homosexuality. Sadly, we shall not see his like again. A memorable line from the movie: “Gimme two weeks and I’ll start a war with those goddam Russkies and make it look like it was their fault”.

  • “I wasn’t aware that he converted to Catholicism.”

    He didn’t, although he did attend Mass occasionally during the War. The chief chaplain of the Third Army was Monsignor James H. O’Neil who wrote the famous weather prayer. Go to the link below to read his account:

    http://www.pattonhq.com/prayer.html

D-Day, History and Memory

Thursday, June 6, AD 2013

Sixty-Nine years since D-Day.  In the first law firm I worked for in 1982 the Senior Partner had lost a son on Omaha Beach.  The man I was replacing had just been made a Judge, and still walked with a limp from being shot up on Omaha Beach.  Another partner had been with the Eighth Air Force in England, helping to plot flight missions in support of D-Day.  This was in a five man firm, including myself.  D-Day left its mark on this nation, with its approximately 3,000 dead and 6000 wounded Americans, but with the passage of time it has become relegated to the history books as those who lived the longest day depart from the scene.

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2 Responses to D-Day, History and Memory

  • The hands and feet and face of Justice, and they would do it all over again.

  • Let me tell you. The man stood before me and raised his tee shirt. There was a scar from his neck to below his belt. He turned around and there was a scar from his neck to below his belt. He told me that the shell had gone right through his body. Here he was telling me that he had been there on D Day. The man was the personification of courage and determination. He gave me to know that he would do it all over again.