On this day in 1944, Allied forces launched an assault on the beaches of Normandy, the first successful invasion of occupied territory in 800 years.

As someone who has served as a soldier, I possess a perspective that many do not hold. I had the opportunity to serve with some amazing men and women, over the course of both my active and reserve service. I was witness to bravery, selfless service, and dedication beyond measure, by Americans of every race, color, and creed that represented the highest ideals of our nation. I was, and am proud to have had the honor to have known them and to have served with them.

As many of the "greatest generation" now see the twilight closing on their generation it is only right that we all reflect on the sacrifice and foundation that these great Americans laid by refusing to let tyranny or freedom fail. When called upon to serve in harsh conditions around the globe, far from home and for some, years on end, they did not falter or hesitate, they said, "take me". The world we enjoy today; connected, global, technologically advanced, prosperous, free and largely democratic, is owed in large measure to the gritty, hard, self-sacrificing work of these Americans and our Allies that dreamed of a better world, where nations and peoples trade, live and thrive in freedom.

While it has been 75 years since the young men of this great generation peered out of a landing craft at beaches littered with the dead and dying on the beaches of Normandy, their legacy and our charter remain clear. We must never forget the thousands of lives given during the invasion to change the course of World War II and the world and we must strive every day to earn the sacrifices that were made to give us the world and prosperity we enjoy today.