From D-Day to Today: The Unbroken Fight for Freedom

June 6, 2024

As we commemorate the 80th anniversary of D-Day today, it’s hard not to be struck by the parallels between the heroic struggle against Nazi tyranny and the ongoing fight for freedom and democracy in the Middle East. The courage and sacrifice displayed by Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy echo through the decades, resonating deeply with the challenges faced by the Jewish state today.

When you consider the sheer scale of Operation Overlord, with over 150,000 troops storming the shores of France, it’s truly awe-inspiring. The success of D-Day dealt a crippling blow to the Nazi regime, paving the way for the liberation of Europe. But what’s often overlooked is the significant role played by Jewish soldiers in this pivotal moment. Over 4,000 Jewish troops were among the Allied forces, driven not just by a sense of Patriotism, but by a profound personal connection to the fight against Nazi tyranny. They understood that this battle was not only for the freedom of Europe but for the very survival of their people.

Fast forward to the present day, and it’s striking to see Israel standing tall as the sole democracy in a region plagued by radicalism and terrorism. Like the Allies in World War II, Israel faces an implacable foe in Hamas, a terrorist organization committed to its destruction. And not just the destruction of Israel, but the destruction of the West as we know it.  The parallels are chilling: both the Nazis and Hamas seek to impose their hateful ideologies through violence and terror, targeting Jewish populations with ruthless determination.

For Israel, this fight is about more than just self-defense; it’s a battle for the very values of freedom and democracy that we hold dear. The Jewish people have endured centuries of persecution and have fought tirelessly for their right to exist as a nation. The current war against Hamas (and all Iranian proxies) is yet another chapter in this ongoing struggle for liberty and self-determination.

The connection between the fight against tyranny in World War II and the modern defense of Israel is embodied in the remarkable story of David “Mickey” Marcus. Here was a man who fought for the two countries he loved, America and Israel, and was recognized as a hero by both nations. From his time at West Point to his service in the U.S. Army during the war, Marcus demonstrated an unwavering commitment to the cause of freedom. His decision to volunteer for the D-Day airborne assault, despite having no prior training, speaks volumes about his courage and dedication.

But it was Marcus’s experiences at the end of the war, particularly his role in liberating the Dachau concentration camp, that left a permanent mark on his soul. Witnessing firsthand the horrors inflicted upon the Jewish people, he resolved to do everything in his power to ensure that Israel would survive and thrive as a haven for Jews around the world. His tireless efforts to train and equip the fledgling Israeli army were instrumental in securing the young nation’s future, even as he made the ultimate sacrifice in its defense.

When I read about the miracles that took place on D-Day as well as the Miracle that is the State of Israel, I’m reminded of another miraculous story from the Bible. The story of Gidon is one where God empowers a small but faithful group to overcome a much larger adversary. In this increidble narrative, God encourages Gidon to only bring those committed to Him and His ways to the battle. So when the battle was finally won? The Israelites would know to attribute their victory to God – and God alone. 

The heroism displayed on D-Day, and the sacrifices made by thousands of Allied soldiers, including countless Jewish fighters, laid the foundation for a world in which democracy and freedom could flourish. Today, as Israel stands on the front lines of the battle against Hamas and other extremist forces, we are reminded that the fight for these precious values is far from over. It demands constant vigilance, unwavering courage, and a steadfast commitment to justice and most importantly a commitment to the Bible and to God.

In one more powerful connection, the national anthem of Israel and the Pledge of Allegiance in the United States both reveal a profound faith in God and a belief in liberty and freedom. These ideals continue to inspire and guide the efforts to uphold democracy and justice in the face of adversity.

For Jewish people around the world, the significance of D-Day goes beyond its historical importance; it is deeply personal, marking a turning point that helped secure the survival of countless lives and paved the way for the creation of the State of Israel. The sacrifices made on the beaches of Normandy are mirrored in the sacrifices made by Israeli soldiers today as they defend their homeland and their people against those whom seek to destroy them.

As we mark this solemn anniversary, let us remember the immense courage and selflessness of the soldiers who stormed the beaches 80 years ago – and we should draw inspiration from their example as we confront the challenges of our own time. In standing with Israel against the forces of hatred and oppression, we honor the legacy of D-Day and reaffirm our commitment to a world in which freedom and democracy can prevail over tyranny and terror. The story of D-Day and the story of Israel’s ongoing struggle are powerful reminders of the indomitable human spirit and the enduring importance of fighting for what is right, no matter the cost.

Israeli soldiers are risking their lives to protect us all from Islamic terrorism. But they need our help. Sign up for Israel365 Action to receive updates on how YOU can help fight Hamas and its supporters in the United States and around the world.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

Sara Lamm

Sara Lamm is a content editor for TheIsraelBible.com and Israel365 Publications. Originally from Virginia, she moved to Israel with her husband and children in 2021. Sara has a Masters Degree in Education from Bankstreet college and taught preschool for almost a decade before making Aliyah to Israel. Sara is passionate about connecting Bible study with “real life’ and is currently working on a children’s Bible series.

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