Today is the 64th anniversary of D-Day. I am appalled that none of my daily mainstream media reads (New York Times, Washington Post, USA Today) this morning had anything commemorating the event.
On June 6th, 1944, the brave men of the Western democracies began the liberation of occupied Europe in one of the most audacious and complex military operations the world will ever know. They beat back the forces of evil and tyranny and, through their sacrifices, helped give us the lives of peace and prosperity we enjoy today.
I was born over twenty-three years later, yet I will never forget.
There are countless stories of bravery and leadership, such as that of Brigadier General Theodore Roosevelt Jr., who insisted on arriving in the first wave on the beach to provide morale to the troops. He led men up the beach wearing a knit hat, supported by a cane and brandishing a .45.
Or Brigadier Lord Lovat, who together with his piper Bill Millen led his men into battle armed with bagpipes and a knife. You’d follow men like those into Hell itself.
What does all this have to do with Marketing? Only as a reminder that:
- Things never go as planned. (So be well-prepared and know your mission cold.)
- You can’t be too prepared, because of the things that will go wrong.
- Personal leadership, at all levels, is the key to overcoming chaos.
Today, I’ll remind my children of the importance of this day and begin re-reading Stephen E. Ambrose’s terrific history of D-Day. I’ll also read Ronald Reagan’s famous speech at the 40th anniversary a couple of times.
What will you do?