Abraham Lincoln needs to update his most famous speech to a new location and time:
Twelve score and ten years ago our fathers brought forth, upon this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty. Within four score and twenty years all hell broke loose and 600,000 Americans and Confederates murdered each other in order to extend the blessings of liberty to those men and women and children held in bondage.
Today many good people wonder if this nation is still dedicated to the hard-fought proposition that all men and women are created equal because we are engaged in yet another civil war with racists, Confederate zombies and white supremacists with tiki torches, testing whether our nation, or any nation so conceived, and so dedicated to madness, can long endure hatemongers aching to start a race war.
We are met on a great battlefield of that war: on the streets of our cities, at Trump rallies and on cable news. Today I’d like to take you someplace else.
To Colleville-sur-Mer, in the American cemetery, the final resting place for those who gave their lives at Normandy on June 6, 1944, so that our nation might defeat Nazism and so that humanity might live free from the yoke of the Master Race.
This week Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Miley sanctified this core American value when he tweeted, “The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.”
And that is why today we have come to Colleville-sur-Mer, because in light of President Trump’s appeasement of white supremacists, and neo-Nazi anti-Semites it is altogether fitting and proper that we should revisit this sacred place where thousands of white crosses serve as a stark reminder to enemies abroad, and at home, of the abiding will of Americans to pay any price to defeat the tyranny of racist ideology.
We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow this cemetery. Brave Americans of all creeds consecrated this place with the blood of liberty, far above our poor power to add or detract. We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow Gettysburg, Harper’s Ferry or Antietam. We cannot dedicate, we cannot consecrate, we cannot hallow Selma, Birmingham, Little Rock or Memphis.
The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it will never forget Normandy, nor will it forget how an army of mongrels, mutts and misfits stormed across Europe and beat the racially pure glistening Nazi war machine into rubble in less than a year.
It is for us, the children and grandchildren of the Greatest Generation, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here, have so nobly advanced. That no matter your skin color or your creed or your country of origin we are all brothers and sisters.
Let us be dedicated to the great task remaining before us that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which the Greatest Generation gave their last full measure: That we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain on faraway beaches. We resolve that this melting pot of a nation, under siege by alt-right nihilists and racists, this government of the people, by the people, and for the people shall not perish from the earth. And let us consecrate our credo to our hearts: e pluribus unum. Out of many we are one.