Number one: I was reminded that the 65th anniversary of D-Day, the day when the Allies stormed the beaches at Normandy, France, is just around the corner. June 6th, 1944. The process of Freedom and Liberation from Nazi Germany began in Europe that day.
Number two: I listened to Sean Hannity describe events surrounding Mr. Obama’s visit(s) to the Middle East, and it made me very angry.
I served a mission for my church from March 1986- February 1988 in the Geneva, Switzerland Mission. My entire mission was spent in France. Early in my mission I happened to be at the Mission Training Center in Provo, Utah on April 14th, 1986. I heard about France (and other countries) not letting the US planes fly over their countries on their mission to send an anti-terrorism message to Libya. Our planes had to fly around the Strait of Gibraltar. Our country was not happy about that.
As I left the MTC, I wondered: What do these French people really think of us? Do they hate us? Why did they not let us fly over? I thought we were allies?
When I got there, I learned that the French Government was Socialist. And not as friendly as they used to be. I suppose I was a little naive. Probably didn’t pay enough attention in my High School Government class.
But I also learned that not all of the citizens had forgotten what happened in World War II.
I believe this occurred early in my mission, not long after I arrived in Chambery. Memory of the Libya incident was still very fresh in the minds of the people. I was walking down sidewalk with my missionary companion, traveling alongside a busy street. On the other side of the street, and walking in the opposite direction, an older gentleman (at the time probably about 60-some years old) seemed to notice us. I watched as he stopped, checked for traffic, and jaywalked across the middle of the street.
He shook my hand, and spoke in fairly good English.
“I am very sorry for my government not letting your planes fly over to go to Libya. Please do not think that all French people are against America. I want to thank you. You two boys are too young to remember this, but I remember it. If it were not for the Allies, our country would still be in the hands of the Germans. I am sorry! I love America!”
The words here are not exact, nor are they complete, but the sentiments and the message is right on target to the best of my ability to recall parts of that conversation. His handshake . . . his thanking me . . . his apology for his government . . . the fact that he went out of his way to cross the street to apologize . . . all of this touched me deeply. I have thought about it many times over the years which have passed since that day.
That is what America is. America the brave. America the liberator. America the servant of all. Did we have to go into France? No. We could have left them to the Germans. But we did not. America did the right thing. Millions of lives were blessed because of the sacrifices made by my Grandfather’s generation. The Greatest Generation, as they have been called. Those brave men and women who participated in the 1940s were angels of mercy to the entire world.
What does this have to do with what I heard today on the radio? It reminds me of a few things:
A picture I saw with Mr. Obama bowing before the Saudi King, and then all of his recent statements and speeches before kings and presidents and rulers of other countries, where he constantly apologizes for America.
I believe this old French gentleman, if he is still alive, is offended. He hasn’t forgotten. He told us to not forget. He thanked me. And thinking about what my Grandfather’s generation did for this man, his family, and his fellow countrymen STILL tugs at my heart and threatens a tear in my eye as I reflect on it.
I want to thank that old Frenchman. He did me a great patriotic service by taking the time to show his gratitude.
I know the United States of America is not perfect. We as a people have A LOT to improve on. Many things to repent of. A great need to earn our place again in the world as a servant and protector of liberty. But America is still a great nation. And because of my feelings for this Nation, I have just one message for the man who calls himself President of the United States today:
Mr. Barack Hussein Obama: You disgust me.