Saturday, June 06, 2009

M le Président des États-Unis parle en Normandie

From left, U.S. President Barack Obama, Britain's Prince Charles, Britain's Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and French President Nicolas Sarkozy arrive at the American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur -Mer, near Caen, Western France, Saturday, June 6, 2009 to attend a ceremony marking the 65th Anniversary of the D-day landings in Normandy. (Francois Mori/AP Photo)

We live in a world of competing beliefs and claims about what is true. It's a world of varied religions and cultures and forms of government. In such a world, it's all too rare for a struggle to emerge that speaks to something universal about humanity.

The Second World War did that. No man who shed blood or lost a brother would say that war is good. But all know that this war was essential. For what we faced in Nazi totalitarianism was not just a battle of competing interests. It was a competing vision of humanity. Nazi ideology sought to subjugate and humiliate and exterminate. It perpetrated murder on a massive scale, fueled by a hatred of those who were deemed different and therefore inferior. It was evil.

The nations that joined together to defeat Hitler's Reich were not perfect. They had made their share of mistakes, had not always agreed with one another on every issue. But whatever God we prayed to, whatever our differences, we knew that the evil we faced had to be stopped. Citizens of all faiths and of no faith came to believe that we could not remain as bystanders to the savage perpetration of death and destruction. And so we joined and sent our sons to fight and often die so that men and women they never met might know what it is to be free.

You may read the full text here:

American Cemetery at Colleville-Sur -Mer, near Caen

This blog honors the sacrifices made by all involved in that day that turned the tide of modern history and offers profound thanks to them.

O Juge des nations, d'un coeur reconnaissant nous faison mémoire devant toi, des hommes et des femmes de notre patrie, qui, à l'heure de décision, ont pris tant de risques pour la liberté dont nous jouissons aujourd'hui. Fais que nous ne trouvions pas de repos avant que toute la population de ce pays puisse bénéficier de la liberté véritable et accepte avec joie la discipline qu'elle impose. Nous te le demandons par Jésus le Christ notre Seigneur. Amen.

O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy. Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines. This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
--Le Livre de la Prière Commune, 689 / The Book of Common Prayer, 839

--the BB


Grandmère Mimi said...

Lovely post, Paul. Isn't it wonderful to have a president of whom we are not ashamed to represent us abroad?

Paul said...

It is a wonderful feeling, Mimi. It gives me... what was that theme of the campaign?... Hope!

Had McCain won I believe I would have been plunged into terrible despair for my country. My sustained political anger is a sign of my fear and desperation in the past 8 years.

Grandmère Mimi said...

What a terrible and terrifying 8 years to live through! Yes, now I have hope, too.