Today is a big day in history — a turning point in World War II. Today marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
On this day the largest seaborne invasion in history was launched. One of Kansas' favorite sons, Dwight D. Eisenhower helped plan the assault — and gave the U.S. forces the following charge, one which should be remembered:
"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."
Few words to describe such a massive undertaking. Many lost their lives on the Beaches of Normandy, and the war wasn't over after this battle was waged. But this day marked the beginning of the end of a period of terror the world had never seen before — and we pray will never see again.
— Kansan Editorial Board