Statement by Clark Jolley on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day

June 6, 2014

State Senator Clark Jolley, candidate for Congress in Oklahoma's 5th Congressional District, today released the following statement on the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.

"Today we commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy. Heads of State from around the world will gather in France to reflect on and pray for those brave men who died as wave after wave of boats hit the beach in the most critical battle of World War II. Those brave soldiers knew the odds they faced as they stormed the beaches, they watched as their comrades died before them. Young as they were, they bravely leapt off the boats under heavy German fire, took Normandy and changed the course of the war. All of Europe owes their freedom to those thousands of American, British and Canadian heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Those who survived D-Day are among what we call America’s Greatest Generation. A group of Oklahoma veterans just returned from an “Honor Flight” trip to Washington DC to visit the World War II Memorial for the first time. I applaud the efforts of Honor Flight organizers to pay tribute to the veterans who served our nation so bravely in a long and brutal war, and have never before seen the magnificent memorial constructed to honor their sacrifices. With each passing year, we have fewer members of the Greatest Generation to thank, not just for their service during the war, but for their work to fundamentally transform our country upon their return.

I am reminded of one of my favorite Reagan quote, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it on to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free."

My father and uncles are veterans of World War II and served in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. I am often struck by their humility and how little they spoke of their service. Service to country was something people simply did without any expectation of thanks or parades. That is why it is incumbent upon all of us to say thank you while we can to members of the Greatest Generation for all that they have done. We must remember those who died on D-Day in our prayers, because the world would certainly be a very different place had Axis powers prevailed 70 years ago."

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