D-Day, June 6, 1944 – Did Our Heroes Die on the Beaches of Normandy in Vain?

Dwight D. Eisenhower with the D-Day Troops

June 8, 2021, a follow-up to the 77th Anniversary of D-Day

A short while ago, in honor of June 6th, I published Make America Great Again: Honor D-Day, June 6, 1944, Our Longest Day. For those among us concerned about the direction of our country today, that blog may be worth reading again. We focused on the D-Day landing of American troops at Omaha Beach, the most contested landing with the most casualties, 4,720. Omaha was but one of five D-Day landings: 23,250 Americans landed at Utah Beach in addition to the 34,250 going ashore at Omaha Beach. On that day, Gold and Sword Beaches were targets for 53,815 British troops; and 21,400 Canadians invaded Juno Beach.

The History Channel tells us that historians are still trying to determine the total number of D-Day casualties. The National D-Day Memorial Foundation, after years of exhaustive research, puts the numbers killed on D-Day at 4,415. Of the 4,415 killed, 2,500 were Americans. The best estimate of the total casualties is at least 10,000.

The D-Day Memorial Foundation is dedicated to the “value, fidelity, and sacrifice” of those 150,000 brave men and women who stopped the Nazi blitzkrieg in its tracks. I know that only a few of today’s blog readers were alive on D-Day or have the emotional attachment to these historic events as do I, being 90 years old. But what happened that day changed America and the entire world. Democracy and world peace and prosperity were given a real chance. These brave young men and women dedicated their lives to preserving democracy and the freedoms we take for granted. Truly, the brave Americans involved dedicated themselves – and died – to Make America Great – to assure you and I live in a Democracy.

Rangers climbing cliffs at Omaha Beach

But, as I look again at the photo of those brave young Rangers climbing the cliffs at Omaha Beach under the shower of bullets from German rifles, machine guns and mortars, I am concerned that their sacrifices may have been in vain – that we, as a people, may champion our Democracy in words and song but not in how we govern ourselves, or in how we live.

This blog is not about guns. I have written blogs about guns in the past. For example, in 2018, Making America “Grate”-Again: the Weapon’s Effect’s Deadly Cancer. But I couldn’t help notice this weekend’s gun violence. Gun violence in America is skyrocketing. This year, through June 6’s D-Day anniversary, the Gun Violence Archive reports that homicides and unintentional shooting deaths, excluding suicide, totaled 8,396 – almost twice the total number of D-Day deaths of American, British and Canadian troops.

As of today, June 8, 2021, the 2021 death total climbed to 8,524. Included among the gun incidents are 258 mass shootings (4 or more victims). In the past three months, 39 Americans were killed in mass shootings. And 130 children under the age of 12 have been killed this year along with 530 teens. Only 555 incidents involved the defensive use of guns and 807 shootings were unintentional.

In less than 6 months, Americans here at home have killed more than three times as many Americans as the Germans did on D-Day. And we did it last year as well, and also in most every year for at least the past decade. Congress and state legislatures have refused to implement gun controls despite the fact that two out of three Americans want them; and President Biden has asked Congress for them.

Legislature negligence is bad enough, but more than a dozen states have set out to nullify any federal gun control legislation that may ultimately be provided. For example, Anthony Sabatini, a member of Florida’s House of Representatives, has introduced a law in Florida that bans state employees from enforcing or attempting to enforce a long list of potential Federal gun control laws, “including taxes, registrations, bans and more.”

In the minds of these Democracy of Dollars politicians, the second amendment takes precedence over the rest of the Bill of Rights. This assumption is totally contrary to the Declaration of Independence, the Bill of Rights and the Constitution. The Declaration of Independence is quite clear:

We are endowed with certain “unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men….”

Although many Americans associate gun ownership with “liberty” and the protection of “life,” that does not mean that the pandemic use of guns America is experiencing, which deprives others of their Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, is either Constitutionally or morally permissible.

As I point out in prior blogs about guns and in my book, Democracy of Dollars, the Second Amendment was adopted, primarily because Southern slave owners insisted on their militias having the right to have guns when they chased down run-away slaves. The idea that road-raged gun-totters would use their weapons to pepper the back seat of an automobile with bullets, killing a 6-year old child his mother was driving to school, as happened May 21, 2021, was not something the Founders could have fathomed.

I have written, and will continue to write, about the dangers we face having morphed our Democracy of People into a Democracy of Dollars. Yes, our Democracy of Dollars flourishes on money, not empathy or heart or common sense. Supporting the Second Amendment produces dollars. Supporting the Bill of Rights and the First Amendment doesn’t. In fact, Democracy of Dollars legislators and governors squelch the Constitution’s Bill of Rights and the unalienable rights described in the Declaration of Independence whenever they can.

Since the 2020 election, I have been closely following the Democracy of Dollars legislative efforts to deprive Americans of not only their voting rights, but of many of the fundamental rights that define us as a free society. Too many of so-called elite-class running our governments have become the suppressor-class. Florida’s conservative-controlled legislature and governor are members of that suppressor-class. Charged with the responsibility of managing our state for “we the people” they are more than derelict. It would be bad enough if their prime focus was benefitting Florida’s elites, which has been their custom; but their focus, disguised with false platitudes of public good, has keyed in on deleting fundamental rights of the rest of us. These so-called elites, the suppressor- class, aren’t elitists. They’re Deletists. The Deletists’ goal is a one-party state, with not merely an oligarchical government, but an unchallengeable authoritarian government. These Deletists have concentrated not only on making voting more difficult for Floridians, but on suppressing (i) the right of political expression in public assembly, (ii) the right to amend our state constitution, (iii) the right of athletic participation for all children, (iv) the right of local governments to solve local problems, (v) the right of the Federal government to provide gun controls or aid to the unemployed, and (vi) more.

Albert Einstein was right: “The world will not be destroyed by those who do it evil, but by those who watch without doing anything.”

Democracy is not a spectator sport. Nor does it happen by accident. No longer can those of us who champion a true democratic government – a Democracy of People – sit idly by. If we sit idly by and allow the Deletists to prevail, our D-Day Heroes will have died in vain. They gave us their “lives and sacred honor,” providing us with the opportunity to thrive as a Democracy. We must not blow the opportunity.

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Democracy of Dollars is available online from Amazon and Barnes & Noble. If you’d like a signed copy:

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Jake,
 I thank you for sending me your blog. What is going on in our country, and not going on, feels overwhelming. It is good to read your sane, thoughtful ideas. I hope and pray the current White House can turn things around. Cogatulations on your many excellent works!

As an Army Brat who grew up in Occupied Japan and Occupied Germany, my opinion about the value of sacrifice on behalf of my country was formed at an early age. It was based not only on the recent memories of WW II often related by my parents, but also from experiences with the Japanese and German adults and kids my American family befriended and worked with in the post-war rebuildilg. Their vivid recollections (with a few exceptions) of their opinions of America were based on the misinformation they were fed by government controlled media and the fear of reprisal… Read more »

I always enjoy the way you expand a story we are all familiar with like D-Day and make its lessons relevant to current issues. This is a great narrative. Cheers