Address Reflecting Upon the 76th Anniversary of D-Day

Good Evening,

76 years ago today, June 6th, 1944, the Allied forces embarked upon Normandy Beach. This was a profound event in terms of correlating the direction of our world at that time. The Allied forces had suffered tremendous loss, be it the bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, or the constant bombing of London throughout the war, we had suffered significant blows to our stature as the mightiest militaristic force. Yet, on this irreparable day, we make a profound strike which tilted the outcome of the conflict. The landing on Normandy had given Allied forces the ground game which they had been lacking throughout the duration of the war of humanity itself. This single landing provided us with a clear shot towards the Western front, renowned for its disastrous conditions. From this port, we successfully liberated the German-conquered French province and marched onward to topple Germany itself.

Although history rekindles the positive accolades which resulted of this battle, we cannot overlook the unmistakable tragedy which also accompanied it. Although 4,500-9,000 German soldiers were taken out by our forces, we had lost at least 10,000 of our own men in this interminable endeavor. Each of these men had fallen while serving our nations with unmistakable fortitude. Conditions were brutal: the front lines bombarded with barbed wire and stakes. And yet, these men courageously entered combat which would go on for an additional several weeks. Our nation, as well as our allies, owes a profound debt of gratitude for their service, a debt which cannot ever be equitably repaid. While many of these soldiers would go on to earn medals remarking upon their immeasurable commitment, that simply does not suffice when considering the picture at large.

Without success in our effort to capture Normandy, the outcome of World War II could very well be recorded different in the history books. As I reflected upon earlier, we lacked a ground game on the Western front, which was pivotal in toppling the Axis powers. Germany, Italy, and Japan had struck us and our allies with profound impacts, each reflected upon stringently in historical museums and monuments. Words cannot describe just how critical it was for us to succeed in this battle, and in this war concurrently.

World War II was envisioned by analysts and media pundits to be the “war to end all wars.” As it turns out, that was not the case. Unfortunately, war has proceeded to play a role in our reality up to present day. And yet, no war has yet to surpass the level of ferocity, of inhumane stipulations, or of lasting consequences had the opposition been successful in conquest. Had the Third Reich expanded their dominance throughout the Earth, we would have endured the continuation of the most catastrophic genocide known to man, the oppression of citizens by totalitarian government control, the authoritarian stylist style of rule– dominate the voice of resistance, and the perseverance of fascism.

We must always remember this day. It is the very least we can do to pay tribute to the fallen and those who went on to return home in the years following the war. War is an utterly brutal detriment of human existence, and yet we have preserved. We are still a nation, united as one whole union. We are proud to call the United States the land of the free and the home of the brave. And to that end, we are proud to have fostered the brave who have gone on to represent our nation in the most daunting of ways– on the battlefield in order to ensure that those illustrious principles are granted to the next generation.

– C. Lewis

Statement Regarding the Death of George Floyd

Good Afternoon,

First and foremost, I am hopeful that everyone reading this is in good health and safe. We are still at war with an invisible enemy and still losing hundreds of people a day to this virus. I will be giving a statement on that topic in the coming days. In that same sense, I will not be covering the riots or protests specifically in this statement. Rest assured, I will be issuing a second statement today regarding that aftermath of this situation. In this post, I solely wish to focus upon George Floyd, as a person, the video circulating which depicts his death, and the police officers responsible for the inhumane treatment received by Mr. Floyd.

No human being, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc., should be treated in such cynical ways to the extent that Mr. Floyd was. The four cops shown in the video and accompanying photos must be charged as a result of their actions, which deify protocol as it is laid out in this situation. As of this moment, only one cop has been charged (3rd-degree murder and manslaughter). This is a complete and utter disgrace to all who have witnessed the incomprehensible actions committed by these men. Furthermore, the one officer who was charged was not even formally arrested, rather placed in protective custody due to death threats on his life. This, too, epitomizes the systemic injustice already rooted in this case. To be blunt, this officer is a criminal and should be treated as such by being arrested just as any other criminal accused of murder would be. To give him special treatment as a result of his position (former) as a police officer is appalling and sets a disastrous precedent for how cops accused of such high-standing crimes should be dealt with. Furthermore, the fact that he was free for over 24 hours after the video being released is startling. The first video alone, which was released within an hour after Floyd’s passing, had substantial evidence which would be enough to bring the officer in on the charge on manslaughter at the minimal. By this point, the other three officers should have been charged with manslaughter and associate to murder (3rd degree). The cop standing between those recording and the cops kneeling on Floyd was negligent and must be held accountable for allowing his colleagues to carry out this act. Fmr. Officer Derek Chauvin, in particular, must be charged to a higher degree– with 2nd Degree being the minimal. I stand with those who call for the charges to be raised but also acknowledge the sentiment that overcharging the convict will cause him to walk away a free man. In that sense, pushing for 1st degree, although debatably deserved, would not ever be upheld in the courts, and we would find ourselves in another Freddie Gray situation where the charges were dropped. We must demand justice in this legal case, and as such cannot overcharge any one of these four officers.

George Floyd was described as a “Gentle Giant,” by his friends and family. He grew up in Texas, plating football on his high school football team. When he moved to Minneapolis, he was hired as a security guard at a local restaurant. His managers described him as a lively person who was charismatic and kind to patrons. However, he lost his job due to the COVID-19 lockdown a few weeks prior to his death. He was attempting to change his ways after being released from prison and seemed to be succeeding in that effort in Minnesota. He leaves behind a young daughter and her mother. He loved the people of Minneapolis and would be devastated by the violence playing out in the street there presently. He was a quiet person, but had a gentle spirit. He lived to see others, sometimes even complete strangers, have fun. That is who Mr. Floyd is: a kind person, humbled by prior mistakes but working to overcome them to provide himself and his family with a better life. Does that not seem to resemble the very essence of the ‘American Dream’ itself? The fact is that he did not resist arrest as the cops accused him of initially, as shown in new footage. He was killed in the most horrific way imaginable: at the hands of those who we must believe are looking out for our best interest and safety. Those who state that this will never occur again are kidding themselves. We must do everything in our power to ensure that Mr. Floyd does not die in vain. What must occur for us to unanimously call for reform so that no other human being will be slain in the name of racial bias. Call a spade a spade: this killing was provoked as a result of an underlying lack of trust of this man simply because of the color of his skin and his complexion — which the cop perceived as a direct threat to his masculinity. Yes, black lives do matter, as do all others. If you find yourself scoffing at that sentiment, then you are no worse off than those cops. The problem is not completely white supremacy, but rather our inability to entertain equality across the board. If we cannot take a stand on that issue, are we really innovative? Are we really the generation to bring about that progress once and for all? Or will we cave to our predecessors mindset of: the next group will take care of it? We must take a stand, or nothing will change. Mr. Floyd embraced this generation, understood the unique challenges it faced, such as gun violence in schools. He used his voice to speak up for those in need, so I ask you: Will you speak up for those in need now?

– C. Lewis