Standing With The Brave

 

 

Standing with the Brave

I stood at the grave of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr, who received the Medal of Honor on June 6, 1944 at the Battle of Normandy. Brigadier General Roosevelt was the highest ranking officer to storm the beach at Normandy on the first wave and the oldest man to make the landing. Despite his battle with arthritis, and having to walk with a cane, he wrote letter after letter insisting that he be allowed to lead his men in the assault of that June morning. With grave hesitation General Eisenhower finally agreed to allow him to go ashore. Roosevelt saved the day for his men and the others at UtahBeach, showing courage and leadership he used his cane not only to walk with but to point the men in the direction of safety. He kept his men moving and encouraged them to realize that if they stayed in their place they would die; their only hope was to move forward and find the shelter of cover as they defeated the enemy. Roosevelt was a major force in the success of the landing on his beach and thus was selected to receive his Nations highest honor, the Medal of Honor. He led his men successful throughout the day and until July 12, 1944 when he died of a heart attack. Two days after his death he would have received the orders promoting him to Major General. Roosevelt could have lived a life of leisure; he had served his country well in the First World War where his brother Quiten was killed. They moved Quiten’s body to be next to him in the AmericanCemetery at Normandy. His family was wealthy and famous, his deceased father a former president of the country and his cousin the current president there were plenty of jobs besides the assault of Normandy open to him, but he felt drawn to this mission and duty bound to his country. When asked, after the war, what he thought was the greatest moment of D Day; General Omar Bradley said it was the leadership and bravery of Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. I stood at his grave saluted this brave warrior and knelt to thank God for him and others like him who made it possible for me to have this day. As I walked from that sacred ground last Thursday I was flooded with the emotions of a six year old boy who had heard the news of the war and was greatly afraid of what might happen; I thanked God that I could visit their graves and give my thanksgiving in person. My moment in time no longer stands still, it moves on now as time always does.

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Published in: on May 31, 2013 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

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