Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren’t. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.
Lord Lovat was with him–Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, “Sorry I’m a few minutes late, as if he’d been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he’d just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.
– Ronald Reagan, Pointe du Hoc, June 6th, 1984
Bill Millin died today at 88.
About a month from now I”ll be in Normandy looking up at the cliffs from the beach and wondering now only how each of you were able to do such an incredible thing – but also giving my thanks that men such as you walked this earth.