Amid Somber D-Day Celebrations, Liz Cheney Surprises Us

According to the National World War II Museum, fewer than 1% of the 16.1 million Americans who served during World War II are still alive.

But of those precious few, around 180 surviving American vets made it to Normandy yesterday. They were honored by Biden and Macron at the 80th anniversary tribute to the D-Day invasion, a pivotal turning point for the Allies in the war.

Not to get too maudlin, but to see the faces of those very old, brave soldiers -- along with the staggering rows of white crosses rising from the green grass of the cemetery -- made me cry. I was remembering my dad.

My father, an airman in W.W.II, rarely spoke about his service.

But once, he told my brother his D-Day story.

The night before the invasion, he and his unit were flown in on a glider and dropped into inland territory near Omaha Beach.



Along with his squad, he built foxholes and, mostly sleepless and in terror, waited that long night to reinforce the troops who would storm the beaches the following morning.

He was a big, strong guy, not a crier, but tears flowed from his eyes at the terrible memory of the wounded and the dead that he encountered that day.

As that day burns into amber, seeming more and more like ancient history, it’s Important to retell these stories so that we do not forget.

Those lessons, about the rise of authoritarian governments and the need to form strong global alliances to fight them, have even more resonance now.

These themes will no doubt show up in future political ads -- as they did in the video just released by  Liz Cheney, daughter of George W. Bush’s vice president, Dick Cheney, and former Congressional Rep. (R.) from Wyoming. She is one of perhaps two Republicans who has sacrificed her own political career to protest Trump at every turn.

The video, released through Cheney’s PAC, Our Great Task, opens on grainy, black-and-white footage of soldiers jumping out of boats, running toward the beaches, over the moving voice of President Franklin Roosevelt. On June 6, 1944, he addressed the troops, offering them a prayer as they landed in Normandy. His patrician voice is stirring, saying “Our sons, the pride of this nation, have set upon a mighty endeavah.”

Then we see a clip of W.W.II hero and General, later President, Dwight Eisenhower, sounding prescient, speaking from Normandy 20 years later, in 1964. He says that when the U.S. troops “came here to Normandy, it was for one purpose only. Not to gain anything for ourselves, not to fulfill any ambitions for America in the world. It was just to preserve freedom, systems of government in the world.”

Following the clips of those presidents, we hear stirring words from President Reagan, and then from George W. Bush during his Normandy visit. (Perhaps Cheney had to throw a bone to her pops.)

At the very end, we hear Cheney’s voiceover once more, saying, “America deserves a president as good and steadfast as our nation, a president of character, driven by a noble purpose, one who honors the sacrifices of our troops.”

A black-and-white end card delivers the unexpected final blow.

Cheney reads the line aloud as we read it: “Not a man consumed by spite, revenge and self-pity.”

That’s a stinging trio of words. She never mentions former President Trump by name. But the video clearly sets up the enormous contrast between our last Republican president’s personality, sensibility, and vision -- already telling us he would be a “dictator on day one” -- versus all the presidents who preceded him, who understood the continuing need for NATO and democracy.

At the time in 2019 when he refused to visit the cemetery, reportedly because it was raining and he didn’t want to get his hair wet, Trump also denied saying that he ever called people in the military “suckers and losers.” But General Kelly confirmed it.

Trump also dissed a Gold Star family on television.

So with this video, Liz Cheney has declared war -- which will elicit more spite, revenge, etc.  

To be fair, Trump released an appropriate D-Day statement, but hasn’t responded to Cheney’s ad.

For now, let’s just take a minute to remember a time when we fought for our ideals and won. The fight of our lives is coming.

6 comments about "Amid Somber D-Day Celebrations, Liz Cheney Surprises Us".
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  1. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center, June 7, 2024 at 12:09 p.m.

    Bravo Liz. Thanks Barbara. 

  2. Barbara Lippert from replied, June 7, 2024 at 1:39 p.m.

    thanks, Ron.

  3. Ben B from Retired, June 8, 2024 at 12:37 a.m.

    God bless the men & women who served in WWII & military past & present. Putin is modern-day Hitler in my eyes.

  4. Ronald Kurtz from American Affluence Research Center replied, June 8, 2024 at 11:25 a.m.

    Bravo Ben. Afriaid we don't have that level of patriotism today.

  5. Roger Baker from NAPCO Media, June 10, 2024 at 12:18 p.m.

    The contrast between present Grand Old Party leadership and those who came earlier, AND ACTUALLY SERVED their country and countrymen, could not be more clear in this instance. 

  6. Barbara Lippert from replied, June 10, 2024 at 12:31 p.m.

    Totally! It was amazing to hear what Eisenhower had to say! 

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