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June 6, 1944: The Great Crusade

 

 

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’) Continue Reading

May 1, 1959: First Loyalty Day

One of the more obscure annual observances in the US, and its obscurity is to be lamented, began 59 years ago:

 

By the President of the United States of America
A ProclamationWhereas loyalty to the United States of America, its democratic traditions and institutions, and the liberties embodied in our Constitution is essential to the preservation of our freedoms in a world threatened by totalitarianism; and

Whereas it is fitting and proper that we reaffirm by special observance our loyalty to our country and our gratitude for the precious heritage of freedom and liberty under law; and

Whereas the Congress, by a joint resolution of July 18, 1958 (72 Stat. 369), has designated May 1 of each year as Loyalty Day, and has requested the President to issue annually a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe that day with appropriate ceremonies:

Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon the people of the United States, and upon all patriotic, civic, educational, and other interested organizations, to observe Friday, May 1, 1959, as Loyalty Day, in schools and other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies in which all of our people may join in the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and the renewal of their dedication to the concepts of the freedom and dignity of man.

I also direct the appropriate officials of the Government to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on that day.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this eighteenth day of April in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and fifty-nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and eighty-third.


DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER

By the President:
ROBERT MURPHY,
Acting Secretary of State

Presidents still issue Loyalty Day Proclamations, although that seems to be the only noteworthy observation of the day.  I wish we had the loyalty to this country that most of the men who fought in the Crusade in Europe, as Eisenhower called it, had.