"These Are The Boys Of Pointe du Hoc"

(AP)
This D-Day, I thought it worth scrolling back through history, to one of the more memorable speeches about this historic day.

It was President Reagan's 1984 speech, delivered on the 40th anniversary of the invasion that turned the tide of the war.

Not insignificantly, it was penned in large part by Peggy Noonan, whose talent for the well-turned phrase is legendary, and well-earned. (She once toiled here at CBS News, and wrote about her time here in her first book "What I Saw At The Revolution.")

The speech is a minor masterpiece that recalls the "theater of the mind" of radio, where Noonan first worked:

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers - the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machine guns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After two days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there. These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Click right here to read the whole thing and feel the goose bumps again.