Myers: Today's Terror Threat as Dangerous as World War II's
By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service
SAINTE MERE EGLISE, France, Jun. 5, 2004 The world is facing as much of a threat today from terrorists and extremists as it did during World War II, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today at a memorial tribute to airborne veterans of the Normandy invasion.
Airborne troops jump into Normandy 60 years to the day in
1944 for the D-Day invasion on June 6. Joint Chiefs Chairman Richard Myers told
veterans and their families at a June 5 memorial tribute in Sainte-Mere-Eglise,
France, "we can scarcely imagine how history would have unfolded had the
Allied effort (in World War II) failed.
(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.
Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers compared the world of 1944 to today. "We can scarcely imagine how history would have unfolded had the Allied effort (in World War II) failed," he said.
The world must work together now to defeat a threat as great as that of the war. "Extremists want to replace the freedoms the Allies defended so bravely with fear: the kind of fear that crushes the human spirit and destroys all confidence, creativity and courage," Myers said.
The chairman told the vets, their families and friends that the American armed forces will follow in their footsteps. He said U.S. service members around the world understand what they are fighting both for and against. He said they are prepared to be "the Next Greatest Generation" a takeoff on the World War II veterans' moniker, "the Greatest Generation" and take on the scourge of terrorism.
He told the veterans that he wished they could meet the men and women of today's American armed forces. "Whenever you look in their eyes, you can't help but be reminded of the character that shows in the faces of our World War II veterans," he said. "I just couldn't be prouder of them."
In a press conference following the tribute, Myers said that most veterans agreed with his assessment. He said many have come up to him and said the United States must "stay the course" in the fight on terror.
Myers will participate in D-Day commemorations at Omaha Beach and Arromanches June 6.