Remembering D-Day

CViE|6 Jun 2019

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At the recent commemorations of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II referred to the words of her father King George VI in 1944.

In her speech the Queen, said, “75 years ago, hundreds of thousands of young soldiers, sailors and airmen left these shores in the cause of freedom.

In a broadcast to the nation at that time, my Father, King George VI, said: ‘…what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve…’ That is exactly what those brave men brought to the battle, as the fate of the world depended on their success.

Many of them would never return, and the heroism, courage and sacrifice of those who lost their lives will never be forgotten. It is with humility and pleasure, on behalf of the entire country – indeed the whole free world – that I say to you all, thank you.”

Sadly these days, what is often noticeable when reference is made to the World Wars is the lack of acknowledgement of the help given by God to our nation during these times; in answering (national) prayer, overruling events, controlling the weather, and raising up individuals who were used of God (and in a number of cases feared God).

King George VI did not want to be king, but in the Lord’s purposes was raised up to this position at a time of great need in Great Britain. He very often acknowledged the goodness of God in the addresses he made to the nation and called for times of prayer. The D-Day speech referred to above was no different.

We are thankful that today the Queen also often speaks of God in her speeches. It is sad that for most in our national life, mention of God is to be avoided at all cost, and as we see so often, actions and attitudes are in direct opposition to God. We should pray that there might be a change of heart in Britain, that once again the role God had played in our history might be acknowledged and pray that our leaders might seek to do what is right in his sight.

Reflecting on the final words of King George VI’s speech – “surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nationwide vigil of prayer” – is there not a need for prayer as we consider the battle that is going on now for the minds of children and young people and turning away from the teaching of God’s Word.

The CViE booklet “The Hand of God in the History of Our Country – World War II” is a transcript of a talk that the late Mr Ralph Warboys gave at Hungerford on May 12, 2001. The booklet also contains additional information to illustrate the Hand of God in many deliverances throughout World War II. Copies of the booklet are available from CViE and a PDF copy can be downloaded here.

There is a pressing need for Christian parents, grandparents, and others interested in the well-being of children and young people to remind them of the Hand of God in the history of our country otherwise where will they receive this teaching?

The video above is a recording of King George VI’s D-Day Speech. A full transcript is also provided below:

HM King George VI – The D-Day Speech – 6 June 1944

“Four years ago, our Nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God’s providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those unseen fires which nothing can quench.

Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time, the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. Once again what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve. After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour. We and our Allies are sure that our fight is against evil and for a world in which goodness and honour may be the foundation of the life of men in every land.

That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God: and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling his high purpose.

I hope that throughout the present crisis of the liberation of Europe there may be offered up earnest, continuous and widespread prayer. We who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the sufferings of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who go forth to set the captives free.

The Queen joins with me in sending you this message. She well understands the anxieties and cares of our womenfolk at this time and she knows that many of them will find, as she does herself, fresh strength and comfort in such waiting upon God. She feels that many women will be glad in this way to keep vigil with their menfolk as they man the ships, storm the beaches and fill the skies.

At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a worldwide, vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth. If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, both now and in a future not remote, the predictions of an ancient Psalm may be fulfilled: “The Lord will give strength unto his people: the Lord will give his people the blessing of peace.”

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