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Religion — G-Day should stand for “God’s Day”

By Fr. Jonathan Filkins

The date of June 6, 1944 is quite familiar to most of us. It is that date which many sacrifices were made, both before and after, to win freedom over tyranny. We know it as “Operation Overlord,” or the “invasion of Europe by the Allies,” or the code-word “D-Day.” No matter what the moniker, it was an effort of gargantuan proportions, consisting of millions of moving parts, extremely complex coordinated efforts and the ultimate sacrifices of the lives of many. Simply, it was the largest amphibious assault against an occupying force.

A few days ago, we gratefully acknowledged the sacrifice of the relatively few who gave so much to so many, so we may live our lives without tyranny. At the 75th anniversary of the invasion, we noted with understanding sadness, the departure from our midst of the aging participants. Acknowledging the bodily corruptions, our time with them will reliably come to an, inevitable, end. We shall be left with the grainy films, and the recorded accounts; along with testimonies and the written chronicles of these times now past. Yet, we do not stand apart form this D-Day. We, as the future generations have been greatly impacted by the events which proceeded us. There are those among us who will retell of the stories of the parents, or grandparents, who recounted their stories. However, as we face our own corruptions, even these links will weaken. Our memories given to others will be left to the ages, with little to substantiate what we said, or did, here.

“D-Day” was clearly a turning point in the history of humankind. As was December 7, 1941 the “day which shall live in infamy,” each has their place in the pantheon of our days. Each has a collective, and singular, meaning to us.

Yet, why “D-Day”? The dictionaries will relay it is the code for THE day when a significant military action is to take place. A quick read, over the journals of war, will show how many such “D-Day’s” there have been, and there have been many. Over the decades, the term has come to mean the singular assault on the wind and wave swept beaches of Normandy, France; as a precursor to the end of the greatest conflict the world has ever known. Consider the acronym, “G-Day.” For our use, it is neither the Aussie expression for goodbye, as in “g’day,” or the international Google event conducted for software developers. Let us call, “G-Day,” God’s day.

In our battles, we too must be prepared for evil assaults from every side. In the First Letter of Saint Peter, he warns, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walks about seeking whom may he devour.”  This parallelism, with the events which come some two-thousand years later, indicates to us the essential nature of ourselves and the dark portions which may continue to dwell therein. Yet, in our natures exists the ability to exercise absolute good and sacrifice, not only for ourselves, but for the betterment of others.  Those who died on that “D-Day,” had their “G-Day.” They had their “THE” day twice. We too will have our dual days. It shall be that moment when we have truly given ourselves up to God, our THE day, and that other day when God takes us into Paradise, or not.

For those who came ashore upon those stormy, soggy beaches, under gray scudding clouds, facing unrelenting, unimaginable, carnage and adversity, there is a much-deserved place of honor in our hearts. For ourselves, we should be inspired by their sacrifices for us, as we live our days in common humanity. We should, even more especially, be inspired by the Words and the Sacrifice of the earthly life, and then the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, for us. Only when we ascribe our lives to a greater power, may we ascend to the battlements and defend against the forces of darkness; within, and without.