Last year on 6 June we were here:
Cape Lookout National Seashore 06.06.2011
as part of what has become our annual trek back to eastern North Carolina. Cape Lookout is one of the most wonderful spots on God's earth. It's easy to see why Down Easters are fond of saying, "God may be everywhere, but he lives down to the Cape."
Sixty-eight years ago today, other people were hitting a different beach, one that was not nearly so pleasant, one that was, in fact, a living hell on earth. The allies were invading the Continent. It was D-Day, the 6th of June, 1944.
The Americans - the 29th Infantry Division; the 1st Infantry Divison, and nine companies of Rangers - were hitting Omaha Beach, which turned into a bloodbath.
So there we were, enjoying the day, wandering around getting sunburned, getting sand in our shoes, enjoying the peace and tranquility, yukking it up with the park rangers, and generally having a good time.
The oaths of enlistment/commissioning, an oath which all those men who hit Omaha Beach took, includes the phrase:
"... I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same ..."
You will notice that the oath is to the Constitution, not the state.
The Preamble to the Constitution sets forth the reasons for establishing that document in the first place. Among those reasons, we find:
"... secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity ..."
And then over in the Declaration of Independence, we find:
"... they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness ..."
The only reason that we were able to spend that time frolicking in the surf, walking on the beach below Lookout light, and generally pursuing our own brand of life, liberty, and happiness ... was because those men on Omaha Beach, and thousands upon thousands like them throughout our nation's history ... lived up to that oath they took. Because of their sacrifice, we are all, today, free to take our lives, liberty, and pursuit of happiness, as we may find them, wherever we may find them.
God bless them all.