Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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" . . . then come up here and kick their ass . . .”


Patriotism, service, sacrifice; these are the themes one hears often during this 4th of July holiday weekend. President Barack Obama gave specific examples of these themes, when he praised the “Greatest Generation” of veterans from World War Two and tied-in this current “9/11 Generation” of warriors and veterans, at the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, three weeks ago in Normandy, France.

Five years ago, on the 65th anniversary of D-Day, I was an embedded reporter with Sgt. 1st Class Cory Remsburg and his Ranger brothers, as they explored the windy cliffs of Normandy and explained what this place and this moment meant to them.

“The overall bigger picture is something incredible, like liberating another country.  I’m excited, you can’t replicate that feeling.  It’s so cool to come out here.  This is legitimately a once in a lifetime opportunity to come out, especially with some of these old vets out here, there’s this 2nd Ranger battalion guy who scaled Pointe du Hoc,” Ranger Remsburg said.

“You see this in movies.  ‘The Longest Day’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, but until you actually walk here, you can’t truly appreciate what happened.  To think 65 years ago, this was a scene of complete & utter chaos,” Ranger Fogle said.

The elite, battle-hardened men shared their “human” side.  They called this place their “Mecca”.
“The impossible mission:  they kept trying to assault the cliffs, and everyone was getting wiped out. 

Down on the beach they were like, ‘We have to get those cliffs’, and that’s where the phrase ‘Rangers Lead the Way’ comes from. He turned around and said, ‘Rangers lead the way!’  2nd & 5th came up, took a lot of losses, but they got it done,” Ranger Fogle explained.

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