Sen. Cruz Commemorates 70th Anniversary of D-Day
The courage of those heroes still courses through our blood
WASHINGTON, DC -- U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, today released the following statement regarding the 70th anniversary of D-Day.
"At 6:30 in the morning, on this day, 70 years ago, an extraordinary Texan named Lt. Col. James Earl Rudder was in the cold, stormy waters off the beaches of Normandy, France.
"It was D-Day. All the Allied Forces who stormed the beaches that day knew it could be the last thing they would ever do. And, the men under Rudder's command had an especially perilous task ahead of them.
"Their mission? March straight into a rain of hellfire to take out the Nazi Howitzer cannons stationed high above them in a place known as Pointe Du Hoc.
"The sheer white cliffs were 100 feet high. Surrounding the cannons were German machine guns, tunnels and trenches. From that vantage point, the Germans could blast at Allied troops from 25,000 yards away.
"The Nazis had situated operations because they believed no man was capable of conquering those rocky cliffs.
"Rudder was ordered to defy the odds and do just that.
"The boys of Pointe Du Hoc threw up ropes. They dug footholes into rock with knives. They climbed, many men falling along the way.
"Every blood soaked step brought them closer to the grenades, machine guns and bombs being hurled at them. Every step brought them closer to the grim machinery of death.
"The fighting didn't end once they captured the cannons. Rudder and his men had to fight on without rest, to prevent the Germans from retaking their prized location.
"They fended them off. Rudder and his men made it possible for Allied troops to cross the beaches and ultimately, defeat Nazi Germany.
"Rudder was only one of some 750,000 Texan men and women who served in World War II. More than 22,000 died in WWII or from wounds they received in the war.
"All the troops who fought that day, as all Americans who serve, had something in common: They were willing to charge headfirst into danger and sacrifice life and limb, in hopes of reclaiming liberty for the world.
"That happened 70 years ago.
"There is monument to those men at the Pointe of Du Hoc today. It is a granite pylon that faces the sky. It is a stony dagger symbolizing the knives the men used that day to fight their way up the cliffs.
"But that memorial seems far away. And, the heroic events of that day are quickly slipping away from our living memory.
"Bring it back to life.
"Today, remember that triumph of American military might, intelligence and skill.
"Remember how General Eisenhower vowed to his troops, 'We will accept nothing less than full victory.'
"Remember our shared American heritage and the ties we have to legends such as James Earl Rudder.
"Remember, that our glorious American history is the launch pad for a bright, free and prosperous future for our generation and the next.
"The courage of those heroes still courses through our blood.
"We have been given the precious gift of freedom, paid with the blood of grandfathers, fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.
"Cherish it. Champion it. For we, as Americans, are called to shine the light of liberty for all the world to see."