For a single day, let us ignore the current state of the world, and instead recall that seventy years ago, on June 6th, 1944, citizen warriors from the United States, along with our allies from nations around the world, leapt from the air, and surged from the sea, to gain a toe hold in France, in Hitler’s Fortress Europe. In eleven months, less than a year, ordinary American servicemen achieved the extraordinary, fascism’s barbarity would soon meet it’s end.
Let us hold true to the sacrifice of those men as they undertook the unimaginable.
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
General Dwight David Eisenhower, Supreme Commander Allied Forces Europe.