The images of the past week make it all too easy to lose perspective of the true greatness of what America can be. D-Day is a fitting time to place this in perspective.

In 1944, the continent of Europe lay helpless under the yoke of a monstrous, national socialist tyranny. (Yes, you read that right, a socialist tyranny!) Those who attempted free speech were slaughtered mercilessly. Jews were undergoing mass extermination in death camps. The coastline of Europe was fortified against invasion. Yet, in the face of this, the Americans came, not for money, land, power, or conquest, but rather to free the enslaved European continent.

The opening scene of the movie “Saving Private Ryan” shows the unspeakable hell that confronted the American troops on D-Day. Yet, against all odds the greatest generation came, endured, and succeeded. They succeeded because they believed in America’s founding ideals—that all people are entitled to the God-given freedoms upon which our nation was founded. This belief empowered ordinary Americans to do extraordinary things. It made them heroes.

There are those today who look upon us as a nation fractured and divided. This is far from the truth. There have been times in the past when we have been much more divided than we are today. America remains great because of the forgotten men and women who work hard and play by the rules.

Photo of my Dad, Omar Collis, who skipped Senior year to enlist with high school friends.