Yesterday marked the 76th anniversary of the D-Day invasion and the beginning of the liberation of Europe.
On that day the free world united together to fight against an ideology of hatred, racism, fascism, and xenophobia. Men and women from across the world, led by the United States, sacrificed their lives to ensure the freedoms, liberties, and lives of those being oppressed.
As I’ve thought about what to write in light of the anniversary and everything taking place in our nation, I began to think about my great, great uncle who landed on the shores of France just a few days after D-Day.
Uncle Cliff was a Sargent in the Army and was a communications specialist, meaning he carried a large radio on his back making him somewhat of an easy target. He never talked much about his experiences in the war, until I began to ask questions. For some reason my interest and curiosity began to allow him to open up. He told me many stories of close encounters, being injured by shrapnel and not even realizing it, God’s mercies in keeping him alive, and many others. He even decided that he was willing to come talk to my 8th grade history class.
As I thought about him and his experiences though, I became aware of the fact that I have begun to forget many of the details of those stories.
76 years later, we find ourselves up against the evil of racism yet again, but this time it’s within our own country. Thankfully, it hasn’t reached the severity of that of the holocaust and the systematic extermination of a people like we saw during WWII, but in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We’ve battled those injustices against Black Americans for the entire history of this nation and we’ve made incredible progress—more than any other nation on earth—but as we’ve all seen over the last month, we still have a long way to go in ensuring that every American is able to freely and equally enjoy our God given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
To do that, it’s imperative that we remember the dedication and sacrifice of those of the greatest generation and their example.
We must remember their experiences then, and how they shared them with us, so that we can seek to understand the experiences of Black Americans now so that we stand alongside them now.
We must remember so that we can pick up where they left off and recommit ourselves to the fight for unity, freedom, liberty, equality, and justice just as they did.
Where they crossed oceans to fight with lives and weaponry for those rights, we must cross the streets, political aisles, and racial barriers to engage in a fight with words, ideas, and principles so that no more weapons are unnecessarily drawn or lives unnecessarily lost.
Like them, we find ourselves up against what at times feels like insurmountable evil. We struggle to find hope amongst the violence and hatred and division. But also like them, we must stay the course. We must look to the nuggets of hope that are there if we simply take the time and effort to look for them. We must speak out for the rights and equality of Black Americans. We must demand action from ourselves and our leaders. We must pray for God to change the hearts and minds of our nation and world. And we must never forget the words of General Dwight D. Eisenhower just hours before the D-Day invasion, but that still ring so true today…
“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”
“We will accept nothing less than full Victory!”
Well, those are my remARCs. I hope they in some way, big or small, might have resonated with you. Whether it made you laugh, cry (I hope not too much), smile, or maybe think about life from a different perspective, I hope you take something away from this article that makes your day even the slightest bit better. I’d love to hear your remARCs as well. Feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment on the My RemARCs Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram pages… unless you hated it. In which case, why are you even still reading this? Hope to see you back here soon. Until then, be well and live remARCably.