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Breathing in the chilled, damp morning air, their stomachs still heavy with a last breakfast, they climbed down into a heaving sea and mounted the tossing Higgins boats.
Like their fathers before, at Yorktown, at Gettysburg, they steeled their courage and rode off into history toward the hateful shore of Omaha Beach, carrying the fate and hopes of all Americans. Many would not survive the day.
Back in Bedford, Va., and elsewhere, fateful telegrams would be delivered amid tolling church bells as the awful cost of D-Day began to return home.
Seventy years have passed since our soldiers--local men, Virginians--came ashore with the Stonewall Brigade to liberate Normandy and the rest of
Now, in a time when too many of us cannot distinguish World War II from any other war, in a time when the notion of American exceptionalism is too often held up to ridicule, let us remember a time when America and its exceptional young men did matter. Desperately.
And let us make a fervent prayer of thanks.