On June 6, 1944, Allied forces invaded the beaches of Normandy, France. The landing involved over 5,000 ships, 11,000 airplanes, and more than 150,000 service men. The invasion cost the lives of over 4,000 Allied troops and almost 10,000 casualties.
President Roosevelt gave the following prayer in a radio address to the American people shortly after the beginning of D Day, June 6, 1944:
In this poignant hour, I ask you to join with me in prayer:
Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our Nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor … to set free a suffering humanity.
Lead them straight and true; give strength to their arms, stoutness to their hearts, steadfastness to their faith.
They will need Thy blessings…. They will be sore tried, by night and by day, without rest — until the victory is won. The darkness will be rent by noise and flame. Men’s souls will be shaken with the violence of war.
For these men are lately drawn from the ways of peace. They fight not for the lust of conquest. They fight to end conquest. They fight to liberate. They fight to let justice arise, and for tolerance and good will among all Thy people. They yearn but for the end of battle, for their return to the haven of home.
Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And for us at home — fathers, mothers, children, wives, sisters, and brothers of brave men overseas — whose thoughts and prayers are ever with them — help us, Almighty God, to rededicate ourselves in renewed faith in Thee in this hour of great sacrifice….
Thy will be done, Almighty God.