D-day: June 6, 1944, the day of the invasion of western Europe by Allied forces in World War II.
When I was thirteen years old, my dog died in the middle of the night—without warning.
Well, that’s not true.
There was lots of warning. She was a toy dachshund and had put on immense amounts of weight. Her belly scraped the ground when she walked—that is, if she walked.
She was miserable.
Being miserable and being a dog, she felt no compulsion to avoid bouts of grouchy, growly and incontinent.
When we first bought the dog, I spent most of my time petting the animal, but by the end of her life, my encounters were primarily cleaning up her messes and yelling at her for dribbling.
Her name was Yogi Gretta.
It’s not one we gave to her, but rather, the one affixed to the papers, assuring us that she was pure-bred.
We probably should have put her to sleep earlier. It’s difficult to decide to kill something when you’re so emotionally attached.
I know it may seem strange, but that is the thought that crosses my mind—the decision on what to do with my house dog—when I think about President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill contemplating sending tens of thousands of beautiful, intelligent, vibrant Allied soldiers to hit a beach in Normandy, France, to try to take back the European continent from a madman named Adolph Hitler.
One thing was certain—many of these brave human beings would be killed.
They would cease to exist.
They would become memories.
Even though I was skittish and tearful over the demise of my pet pup, what was it like to pick a day in June and decide that it was going to be the end of the line for thousands of mortals?
Was there another way?
Could Hitler be left in power to rule over Europe, terrorizing the lives of the citizens?
Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill asked General Dwight David Eisenhower to plan the landing to free Europe.
Now it’s a piece of history.
Then, it was an agonizing, horrifying proposition to terminate human life, to save other human life.
Neither men nor women were meant to make such selections. It is beyond our comprehension and certainly, overly burdensome to our soul.
May we pray that when we see tyranny—even if it shows up initially just as stupidity—yes, may we confront it and curtail it before we’re forced once again to set aside a D-day, to lose countless brothers, to rescue us all.