Senator Lisa Murkowski today reflected on the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day military maneuver, while reminding Alaskans of the attacks on American soil at Dutch Harbor that were also commemorated this week.
"Earlier this week, Alaska remembered the 72nd anniversary of our state being attacked by Japanese planes. On June third and fourth of 1942, Japanese bombers took aim at Dutch Harbor and the Margaret Bay Naval Barracks in the Aleutian Islands -- taking the lives of 25 servicemen in a battle not written about in many of the history books. We here in Alaska, though, realize and remember our state's wartime past -- as the only state that was occupied by enemy forces during the 20th century. Now, with the Pentagon shifting its attention to the Pacific region, Alaska's military installments and position on the globe are once again regaining their prominence.
"Today, though, is the 70th anniversary of an internationally-recognized success of our nation and our allies during the Second World War: storming the beach at Normandy on D-Day. Here is what General Dwight David Eisenhower told the troops as they prepared for the battle ahead:
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen of the Allied Expeditionary Force! You are about to embark upon a great crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brothers in arms on other fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.
"Rarely do we see such pre-battle rhetoric match so well with the results of warfare, but General Eisenhower's prediction was borne out by the bravery and the toughness of our men who stormed the beach at Normandy, France.
"In his call to action, Eisenhower also said he would accept nothing less than a full victory. Thanks to America's actions, a full victory was reached -- opening the door to 70 years of liberty and freedom for our people, and those threatened by the Nazis.
"Today Alaska salutes our World War II veterans, and all men and women who answered the call to service."