With the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landings, we take a look at the famous and stirring King George VI’s speech on D-Day.
The second world war, the bombs and the sound of the Nazi machine marching creeping ever closer. This image has been seared into our collective consciousness for generations. Be it from films, images or perhaps even stories from grandparents, there is hardly a corner of the earth this conflict did not reach in some way.
It is not just a story of suffering and hardship but of the human spirit and its resilience against evil and inhumanity. Sitting right at the driving seat of this movement was the British Royal Family. During the Blitz, Buckingham Palace itself and its grounds were struck on sixteen separate occasions. Of these, nine were direct hits to the building causing excessive damage both internally and externally. But through all of this, the Royal family remained unmoved and undeterred. A symbol of hope, strength and determination that said: “we will fight to the death if we must but we shall not flee nor surrender for what we believe in”.
With the anniversary of D-Day, we not only celebrate the victory and the triumph of righteousness but our fight for what is just and our support for our fellow-man. We decided to take a look at the stirring speech His Majesty King George VI made to inspire the nation for last great push.
King George VI’s speech on D-Day
Four years ago, our Nation and Empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall. Tested as never before in our history, in God’s providence we survived that test; the spirit of the people, resolute, dedicated, burned like a bright flame, lit surely from those unseen fires which nothing can quench.
Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time, the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause. Once again what is demanded from us all is something more than courage and endurance; we need a revival of spirit, a new unconquerable resolve. After nearly five years of toil and suffering, we must renew that crusading impulse on which we entered the war and met its darkest hour. We and our Allies are sure that our fight is against evil and for a world in which goodness and honour may be the foundation of the life of men in every land.
That we may be worthily matched with this new summons of destiny, I desire solemnly to call my people to prayer and dedication. We are not unmindful of our own shortcomings, past and present. We shall ask not that God may do our will, but that we may be enabled to do the will of God: and we dare to believe that God has used our Nation and Empire as an instrument for fulfilling his high purpose.
I hope that throughout the present crisis of the liberation of Europe there may be offered up earnest, continuous and widespread prayer. We who remain in this land can most effectively enter into the sufferings of subjugated Europe by prayer, whereby we can fortify the determination of our sailors, soldiers and airmen who go forth to set the captives free.
The Queen joins with me in sending you this message. She well understands the anxieties and cares of our womenfolk at this time and she knows that many of them will find, as she does herself, fresh strength and comfort in such waiting upon God. She feels that many women will be glad in this way to keep vigil with their menfolk as they man the ships, storm the beaches and fill the skies.
At this historic moment, surely not one of us is too busy, too young or too old to play a part in a nationwide, perchance a worldwide, vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth. If from every place of worship, from home and factory, from men and women of all ages and many races and occupations, our intercessions rise, then, please God, both now and in a future not remote, the predictions of an ancient Psalm may be fulfilled: “The Lord will give strength unto his people: the Lord will give his people the blessing of peace.”