Today is the 68th anniversary of D-Day - June 6, 1944.
On that day, some 155,000 allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy in France, and the fight to retake Europe from the clutches of Nazi Germany was fully engaged.
According to the website for the D-Day museum, before the battle of Normandy was officially over in August of 1944, some 425,000 Allied and German troops died, were wounded or were officially missing.
Twenty-seven military cemeteries in the area hold the graves of more than 110,000 soldiers.
A program on television the other night revealed that the Supreme Allied Commander, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, had written a note on the eve of the invasion taking full responsibility if the attack failed. Luckily, the success of the Allied attack made the letter moot and its existence remained hidden for years.
The fighting in Europe went on for another 11 months and hostilities in the Pacific continued until August 1945.
The brave soldiers had saved the world from tyranny. The sacrifices made by those service people allowed the western allies to go on to build the most affluent society in history. A middle class flourished.
Now, as we look back at all the sacrifices made, we need to ask ourselves if we are worthy successors to that "Greatest Generation." It is a good time to rededicate ourselves to the ideals they fought for - and make sure we don't squander their legacy.
(Note: A version this editorial has appeared previously in The Maui News)
* Editorials reflect the opinion of the publisher.