The boys didn’t make it to Pointe du Hoc this year.
Oh, the Rangers who are buried in the D-Day cemetery are still there and will remain as a tangible reminder of the United States' commitment to its allies and the free world during World War II. But there were no current members of our armed forces there for the French observance of the 69th anniversary of the D-Day landing.
Due to what was called “budget cuts” there were no units from any of our armed forces stationed in Germany, the United Kingdom or Italy present for the ceremony. There was no fly-over of the Normandy American Cemetery. And as American Legion National Commander James E. Koutz — who was there — pointed out, the Obama Defense Department couldn’t even round up a handful of soldiers to form an honor guard to carry the flag and pay small tribute to the 9,387 American soldiers buried there who will never go home.
This lack of participation wasn’t the equivalent of failing to send the Blue Angels to scream over an NFL game in the U.S. Or cancelling an Army parachute team drop during the opening festivities of a college football game.
This was simply a slap in the face to our living WW II veterans who ignored their aging bodies to attend the ceremony and it was certainly an affront to French citizens and officials who planned and attended the ceremony and devote the first week of every June in what Koutz terms, “a massive expression of honor for U.S. military sacrifices.”
In fact, the failure to send any military representatives to Normandy was typical tone-deaf Obama treatment of the citizens of our allies who are not full or adjunct professors at Harvard. This administration simply doesn’t have the time or the inclination to cater to the quaint notions of people who admire the United States and still think it is an exceptional nation and a defender of freedom.
But the entire pathetic display is symptomatic of the Obama administration’s dangerously cavalier treatment of the defense responsibilities of the world’s only remaining superpower and that’s why I’m writing about this event now.
Obama’s former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta — known more for his eagerness to get homosexuals into the military than any saber-rattling on behalf of the free world — admitted that due to precipitous defense department budget cuts the U.S. will soon have the smallest fleet since 1915, the lowest number of ground forces since 1940, and the fewest tactical aircraft in the history of the Air Force.
I have no objection to cutting the fat from the Pentagon. For example there are more generals today with our tiny army than there were in 1945 when we had an army over 10 times larger. And the Pentagon has no business running its own chain of grocery stores. But Obama is cutting the muscle and the bone and leaving the fat intact.
This foolishness has serious implications for the future. If the U.S. withdraws from its responsibilities to keep the sea lanes free and aggressive land powers on notice, it does not mean we will be ushering in an unprecedented period of peace and brotherly love.
In fact, it will mean just the opposite. For both nature and tyrants abhor a vacuum and both rush to fill it.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. He is president of The Reagan Legacy Foundation and Chairman of the League of American Voters. Mike is a in-demand speaker with Premiere. Read more reports from Michael Reagan — Click Here Now.
© Mike Reagan