Reagan: Many days to say ‘thanks’
Published 12:50 pm Friday, June 4, 2021
Sunday is D-Day plus 76 years.
And on Memorial Day this week we honored and mourned all the men and women who’ve died while serving in our military.
So maybe it’s a good time for politicians and pundits from both sides of the aisle to quit pointing fingers at each other for a day and start thinking about what marking the date June 6, 1944, is all about.
It’s about honoring all those young soldiers who gave their lives for us so many years ago in World War II.
It’s about remembering all those brave young men who jumped out of airplanes and stormed the beaches of a foreign country, not knowing the language but knowing they were there to free the world from Hitler and his armies.
There are only about 300,000 World War II vets still living, and they’re all in their 90s and 100s.
We thank them each year on Memorial Day and D-Day and Veterans Day, but we need to thank them every day.
It doesn’t matter where they served — Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, wherever — they deserve our constant and bipartisan respect.
On D-Day, I always think about my father and what he did to serve the country during World War II.
He badly wanted to enlist in the Army but without his glasses he was legally blind.
Because he knew he’d never pass the Army’s eye exam, he went out and memorized the eye charts. It didn’t matter which line he was asked to read because he had it memorized.
Because of his bad eyes he couldn’t go overseas and he ended up serving in California, where he did more than 300 training films for the Army.
He rose to the rank of captain and before he retired he was offered the rank of major. He turned the promotion down, saying he believed anyone with a rank that high should be able to serve overseas.
My father was always fond of the military and I learned that attitude from him as a little boy.
When he drove me out to the ranch in the late 1940s and early 1950s, he’d always sing the Army, Navy and Marine Corps hymns.
He’d sing the songs as a way to get me to ask him questions and then he’d tell me stories about the amazing things American soldiers and sailors did at Pearl Harbor or on D-Day, or at Midway or the Battle of the Bulge.
Most young people today don’t know those stories and few have even heard of the battles where they took place.
And they also don’t understand how much the people of France and other places in the world truly love us for what our fathers and grandfathers did for them. All you have to do is travel to those places to find out.
A big problem today is that too many Americans have forgotten to love ourselves for what we are and for what we’ve done for the world.
We know America is not perfect — and never has been.
But the media, the progressive politicians and the hate-America crowd seem to be focusing today only on our flaws and our warts and our other imperfect parts.
We need to remember to love America for all the good things our men and women in the military have done for the world. Especially on Memorial Day and the anniversary of D-Day.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan, a political consultant, and the author of “The New Reagan Revolution” (St. Martin’s Press). Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.