As my clergy comment appears in the Prince George Citizen, it is Saturday, June 15, 2019, and if you listened to News Reports leading up to June 6, you would have heard the details of the 75th anniversary celebrations for D-Day. The D-Day invasion of Europe by the Allied Forces in the Second World War occurred on June 6, 1944. That Invasion force may have been the largest conglomeration of men and machines in the history of the world. It was composed of some 250,000 men, 1,400 aircraft, 3,300 assault ships, six battleships and countless destroyers poised to invade Europe to rout the German forces from their occupation of Western Europe, and thereby hasten the end of the war.
The D-Day invasion on the shores of Normandy was crucial to the outcome - a must-win
battle! In view of the desperate need to win this crucial battle, Western Leaders were calling on the people to pray concerning this urgent challenge. President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on Americans to pray. Some had asked for a day of prayer, but the president said, "Because the road is long and the desire is great, I ask that our people devote themselves in continual prayer."
King George VI called on the entire British Empire to pray: "We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may do the will of God." As the invasion drew near, General George Dempsey, commander of the British and Canadian forces, met in the parish church in Portsmouth, England with 400 officers and men and prayed for an hour in what he called "one of the most moving experiences of my life."
June 5 was supposed to be the day of invasion, but hazardous weather delayed it. General Dwight D. Eisenhower recalled: "I made the most agonizing decision of my life." To delay the invasion beyond June 6 would require a further wait of two weeks, so he decided to proceed to invade on June 6. He said, "If there were nothing else in my life to prove the existence of an Almighty Merciful God, the events of the
next 24 hours did it!"
Suddenly the weather changed, the D-Day invasion of Europe proceeded and the
loss of life was far below the anticipated number. Incidentally, had the Allies delayed the invasion another two weeks, they would have encountered the worst storm to hit the English Channel in 80 years!
However inside Europe, the Nazi commanders also consulted their weathermen, and they were told that the Allies would never invade under the weather conditions. So high-ranking German officers like General Erwin Rommel went to a birthday party, hence they were unprepared for the Allied invasion.
Listening to the stories told during 75th anniversary celebrations, we heard appeals that we express appreciation for the men and women who gave their lives to bring about freedom for the people of our western countries. To this appeal, I am in full agreement. However, I must ask this: where was the praise to God for His Divine Intervention in the guidance given to the Western Leaders? These leaders made momentous decisions beyond their own human ability, decisions that had their source in God alone.