(City Journal) -- They did not come, as invaders usually do, to loot and plunder and conquer. They came ashore, you might say, altruistically. A lot of them died on the beach.
Always at the heart of America as a moral experiment has been the question of how to make the nation’s power virtuous. Can power ever be virtuous? It’s an almost theological riddle. On D-Day, June 6, 1944, the two—power and virtue—were neatly aligned. Good confronted evil; such clarity gives courage.
The invasion became a bloody, yet treasured, memory of America the Good, a story we have carried over from the olden time—that is, the twentieth century—as a parable of selflessness, in which the dragon of Hitlerism is slain and the continent of Europe is delivered from evil. It was a gesture on the grandest scale, democracy rising to an act of high chivalry—arguably the mightiest feat of arms in the history of the world.
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