D-day plus 75. What are we doing with the chance?

Published June 6, 2019

By Tom Campbell

On the 20thanniversary of D-Day former Allied Expeditionary Force Commander and President Dwight D. Eisenhower walked the Normandy beaches with CBS newsman, Walter Cronkite. Cronkite asked Eisenhower what he thought about when looking at rows and rows of white crosses signifying those who gave their lives. 

Eisenhower said, “These people gave us a chance. They bought time for us so that we can do better than we have before. So every time I come back to these beaches, or any day when I think about that day, I say once more, we must find some way to work to peace, and to gain an eternal peace for this world.”

Thursday was one of television’s best days ever. The coverage was spectacular with visuals and interviews. We were particularly taken by the men who were present on that D-day 75 years ago and who sat on the stage as President Trump and French President Macron spoke somberly, eloquently and appreciatively of the contributions and sacrifices made. 

Our takeaway is to ask what we have done with the chance these heroic people made on our behalf. History will show that in many areas we have reached great heights in many areas, but in far too many we have fallen short in achieving that eternal peace Eisenhower called us into. 

That peace isn’t just the absence of fighting and killing. Eternal peace means insisting on peace with our brothers and sisters from all persuasions, beliefs and races. Some mistakenly believe peacemakers are weak. The truth is that those who strive for peace must be strong.

The Greatest Generation gave us a chance to do better than we have before. Every day presents another opportunity, another chance. What are we doing with that chance?