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Fifty years ago June 6, young men just like those of our generation became the stuff of legends and history. Having left all they loved behind, they faced what can only be called the greatest evil humans have ever seen; they did it with faith, integrity and courage.

Liberty as a word is often spoken in explaining why they fought, but liberty as a sacred trust can only be understood in visiting the myriad crosses and stars marking their sacrifice.Each person who took part in the desperate campaign at Normandy and throughout World War II owns a solemn place in history. Simple people triumphed under the direst of circumstances, not because they were exceptional but because they would not accept the possibility of failure. The freedoms and privileges we believe to be inherent human rights today were paid for in blood during those momentous days.

Each man who joined the battle found within himself the greatest love mankind knows, Each man who undertook the mission offered his life for his friends, most of whom we had never met nor would he ever.

Even those of us born 30 years after D-Day are swept up in the emotion. We as America's burgeoning new generation must build upon the sacrifices given by those who preceded us. We must endeavor to realize the greatness they showed as we deal with our new problems.

Today's wars are waged here at home over corruption or bigotry or crime. We must hope for the valor to fight our battles today, whatever form they might take, as well as did our forebears.

Shawn G. Hansen

Salt Lake City