Recalling soldiers’ D-Day sacrifice, military archbishop prays for world peace

CNS photo/Pascal Rossignol, Reuters

WASHINGTON (CNS) -- In remembering the estimated 4,400 Allied troops who died storming the beaches of Normandy, France, 75 years ago on D-Day, Archbishop Timothy P. Broglio of the U.S. Archdiocese for the Military Services said that "Jesus Christ reminds us there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friends."

"At this time, in particular, we express deep gratitude for those who laid down their lives on D-Day," he said in a statement June 4.

Advertisement

Archbishop Broglio planned to travel again to France for the 75th anniversary of the Normandy invasion to commemorate and give thanks for the lives lost on the beaches of Normandy, in Europe and in the Pacific. The German casualties on D-Day were between 4,000 and 9,000.

[Don’t miss the latest news from the church and the world. Sign up for our daily newsletter.]

"We ask God that their sacrifice not be in vain," Archbishop Broglio said. "We beg him to transform our power to turn war into a force for peace, to transform our weapons into plowshares, to give us the ability to negotiate, to talk and to listen."

In 2015, he journeyed to Normandy to commemorate the sad day and to help dedicate a monument on Utah Beach depicting three American GIs emerging from a Higgins boat. The Higgins boat was designed by Andrew Jackson Higgins to facilitate easy landing on beaches and in marshes, and was used extensively in the D-Day operations.

The archbishop remembered the boat's designers, those who "labored with vision to accomplish a goal, the liberation of peoples, their brothers and sisters in human society."

While in Normandy, Broglio also attended a commemoration for fallen Danish troops and celebrated Mass on the feast of Corpus Christi, during which he prayed for world peace.

[Want to discuss politics with other America readers? Join our Facebook discussion group, moderated by America’s writers and editors.]

At that time, he said he "was struck by the number of French men and women who came up to me and said: 'We will never forget what your countrymen did here.'"

Archbishop Broglio reminded the nation, too, to remember the sacrifices of American servicemen, as well as those of every soldier and civilian who lost life or loved ones.

For this year's commemoration, Archbishop Broglio prayed that Catholics and all Americans will "remain vigilant against the forces of evil in our troubled world, and to pour our energies into building lasting peace and justice among nations."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

The latest from america

Light streams into St. Gabriel’s Passionist Parish in Toronto. (Photo courtesy of Larkin Architect Limited)
The daily light show at St. Gabriel's in Toronto is not just aesthetically moving, writes Dean Dettloff. It is part of a church design that reminds us of human dependence on the earth.
Dean DettloffAugust 23, 2019
“The Church is a family of families,” Pope Francis writes in “Amoris Laetitia.”
Kerry WeberAugust 23, 2019
Our commitment to God is expressed through living out the gospel, but also in your fidelity to prayer. Day in and day out. “Showing up and shutting up,” as my friend likes to say about daily prayer.
James Martin, S.J.August 23, 2019
In this Aug. 20, 2019 drone photo released by the Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso, brush fires burn in Guaranta do Norte municipality, Mato Grosso state, Brazil. (Corpo de Bombeiros de Mato Grosso via AP)
A record number of wildfires and the rapid deforestation of the Amazon are prompting Latin American bishops to plead for international action, writes America’s correspondent in Brazil, Eduardo Campos Lima.
Eduardo Campos LimaAugust 23, 2019