The Boys of Pointe Du Hoc, Ronald Reagan, 1984
We're here to mark that day in history when the Allied
peoples joined in battle to reclaim this continent to
liberty. For four long years, much of Europe had been
under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews
cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation.
Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its
rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the
Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant
undertaking unparalleled in human history.
We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern
shore of France. The air is soft, but forty years ago at
this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the
cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of
rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the
morning of the 6th of June 1944, 225 Rangers jumped
off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of
these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult
and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and
desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies
had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns
were here and they would be trained on the beaches
to stop the Allied advance.