Cross-posted from Roll Call
When Ronald Reagan delivered one of the most stirring speeches of his presidency in Normandy on the 40th anniversary of D-Day, he hailed “the boys of Pointe du Hoc,” the Army Rangers, who, despite gruesome casualties, scaled the cliffs on Omaha Beach.
That June 6, 1984, speech, written by Peggy Noonan, also took pains to credit “the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who … once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.” Of the 14,000 Canadian troops who landed on D-Day, more than 1,000 died in the first six days of the invasion.
Reagan understood, as all modern American presidents did prior to Donald Trump, that D-Day commemorated the shared sacrifice of Americans and our Canadian and British allies. This crusade was not “Make America Great Again” — and certainly not “America First” — but rather “Make the World Safe from Tyranny and Genocide.”
In normal times, this week’s G7 summit at the majestic Fairmont Le Manoir Richelieu Hotel in Charlevoix, Quebec, would be a moment to reaffirm our bonds with our allies. Looking from the hotel across the broad expanse of the St. Lawrence River, it is hard not to reflect on the shared American-Canadian experience in settling a vast continent over more than four centuries.
Read more at Roll Call
The views expressed are the author’s own and not necessarily those of the Brennan Center for Justice.
(Photo: Wernervc / Wikimedia Commons)