By Chaplain (Col) Stephen W. Leonard, USA, Ret.

“Greater love has no one than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

The greatest amphibious assault of all human warfare, modern or ancient, took place last Thursday, 80 years ago, mostly in Normandy, France, on beaches, for purposes of the attack, named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword. This day is famously known as D-Day.

The anniversary day was celebrated in many places last week, but particularly in France, which was liberated, the UK, and the US. These were the three nations most invested in the events of D-Day. Other nations: Canada, Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, and Poland all provided soldiers who participated. But the greatest bulk of soldiers and airmen were from the US and UK. And therefore, these two countries bore the greatest casualties of this life-altering day.

They say this day is the reason most of Western civilization does not speak German today. That may or may not be true, but the day rightly has been called the beginning of the end for the Third Reich.

When the attacking troops gained a foothold in France on June 6, 1944, the Nazi empire began to fold. That is not to say there was not much fierce fighting yet to take place, but the die was cast.

Everything Hitler and Germany did in trying to turn the tide of World War II came to naught. And in the Spring of 1945, Germany surrendered, as did Japan only months later.

D-Day was all about freedom, which has been the state of the countries mentioned above since many were liberated. Freedom, particularly the freedom to worship, is a precious gift. But true freedom comes to us only from and through the LORD Jesus Christ. He can provide freedom even to those who live under dictatorships or oppression.

Just as Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world, so is His freedom, not of this world. Freedom from the bondage and grip of sin is the greatest freedom of all, and is the freedom absolutely required to enter heaven!

You can thank God often for the gift of D-Day. But you need to thank Him even more for the gift of the Son and His cross, and the freedom that very cross provides to you. If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free, indeed!


“I lay my sins on Jesus, the spotless Lamb of God; He bears them all, and frees us from the accursed load: I bring my guilt to Jesus, to wash my crimson stains white in His blood most precious, till not a spot remains.”
(1st verse Horatius Bonar’s hymn, “I Lay My Sins on Jesus,” 1843)

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