Worth a Sacrifice – Sunday, November 8, 2020

At this solemn site, the Normandy American Cemetery in France, more than 9,300 American soldiers are laid to rest. The architecture here, the exhibits, and the peaceful surroundings are all designed to pay tribute to their sacrifice. Most of the soldiers buried here died during the invasion of Normandy that began on June 6, 1944—better known as D-Day.

On that fateful day, 156,000 Allied troops[1]—American, British, and Canadian—launched one of the largest military campaigns in modern history. The attack had a bold objective: to storm 50 miles of beaches in German-occupied France and, eventually, liberate Europe from Nazi tyranny.

Much has been written and said about D-Day over the years. But perhaps the most meaningful words come from those who experienced it—the soldiers who charged across the beaches and pushed their way up the steep bluffs amid enemy fire.

One of these was 25-year-old Second Lieutenant Jack Lundberg. Sensing the danger of the invasion he was about to participate in, he wrote to his family that his chances of returning were “quite slim.” “I want you to know,” he said, “how much I love each of you. You mean everything to me and it is the realization of your love that gives me the courage to continue.” He found further strength, he wrote, in the feeling “that in some small way I am helping to bring this wasteful war to a conclusion.”[2]

He was right. D-Day turned out to be the turning point of the war. But he was also right about his chances of coming home. Just days later, Lundberg was killed in combat in Abbeville. His family could have brought his body home, but they chose to have him buried with his fellow soldiers here in Normandy, France.

Nothing prepares you for this sight of countless graves of soldiers—some identified, others unknown. Row by row, each small monument speaks of the valor, the selfless spirit, and the bravery of all our veterans who have stood strong in war, representing a grateful nation. Lieutenant Lundberg said it well when he wrote: “We of the United States have something to fight for. … The U.S.A. is worth a sacrifice!”[3]


[1] See “D-Day,” June 5, 2019, history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day.

[2] In Andrew Carroll, ed., War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars (2001), 245.

[3] In Carroll, War Letters, 245–46.


November 8, 2020 Worth a Sacrifice
Broadcast Number 4,756

The Tabernacle Choir
and Orchestra at Temple Square


Mack Wilberg

Special Guest
Stanford Olsen

Andrew Unsworth

Lloyd Newell


America the Beautiful
Samuel A. Ward; arr. Mack Wilberg

Who Are the Brave?
Joseph M. Martin

The Washington Post March
John Philip Sousa; arr. Joseph Linger

God Bless America
Irving Berlin; arr. Roy Ringwald

The Last Full Measure of Devotion
Larry Grossman; arr. Ian Fraser

America, the Dream Goes On
John Williams