Ponder carefully with me the following story. There was this young boy who grew up in a time when manners and traditions shaped lives, and formed young boys. He saw this pretty little girl in their small town frequently, but manners are manners – it isn’t polite to stare – so he would take his glances when he could, blushing to meet her stealing her own glance. Innocence, ten years old.
Years passed and familiarities grew, and this boy summoned the courage to ask this girl to a dance – to go to a place where people float happily together to music. Sixteen years old, dancing, sweethearts.
On her eighteenth birthday he came to her home, they went for a moonlit walk, and as he genuflected to one knee, his eyes looking up to hers, she stood breathless, hand over mouth, as he proposed a lifetime devoted solely to her. She saw her future in those eyes.
And as boys become men, and men become heroes, her future died in a place called Normandy. In that place, in that time when so many futures died, ladies and gentlemen, our futures were made. Let us not be complacent with so great an inheritance, for too great have been the Americans before us to expect so little of ourselves today.