D-Day. We pause to recall this day. Many of us recall it, strangely enough, as a day of triumph. But in reality, it was not. Sixty-three years ago, this was a day of great loss and difficulty. Fortunately, our troops did not yet have to contend with the 24-hour news cycle.
Indeed, D-Day was only the beginning of triumph. Such is the way it has always been. Likewise, when Joe Rosenthal's famous photograph captured five Marines and a Navy Corpsman raising our flag on Iwo's Mount Suribachi on Feb. 23, 1945, the nation rejoiced. But four more weeks of the bloodiest fighting in Marine Corps' history was still ahead.
It's always been this way. We commemorate dates when we planted the flag, declared independence, as we should.
But when you raise the flag of freedom, the conflict is often only just beginning.
The men who hit the beaches of Normandy 63 years ago were ready for the long fight ahead. We should always be, too.