On the night of June 6, 1944, President Franklin Roosevelt spoke on the radio to announce the initial success of the D-Day invasion.
“Almighty God,” he began, urging the nation to join him in prayer. “Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”
President Trump read those words 75 years later to commemorate the occasion.
Liberal hero though he was, FDR defined part of the war’s goal as defending “our religion.” He didn’t deny the crucial Protestant-Catholic divide, or ignore the presence in the ranks thousands of Jews and other non-Christians.
But Roosevelt’s words strongly implied a shared faith in America as an instrument of divine Providence “to set free a suffering humanity.” In today’s turmoil, may Americans rediscover that sense of common purpose.