“Going Into D-Day With the Bible”

In the hours before the Allied invasion of Normandy on June 6, 1944—D-Day—troops were preparing to land on a fifty-mile stretch of French coastline. Two days before, Chaplain Colonel George Russell Barber conducted church services on eleven different ships, distributing thousands of small “Service Testaments” provided by The Gideons International.

Addressing the troops, Barber quoted the twenty-third Psalm, attempting to comfort the anxious troops. On D-Day Lieutenant Colonel Barber led his men onto Omaha Beach under intense enemy fire. Hundreds of soldiers were killed. And in the water a scene Barber never forgot—small Bibles floating everywhere.

As men in the water died in his arms, Barber quoted Jesus’s words from John 14:1–2: “Let not your heart be troubled, you believe in God, believe also in me . . .”

The Bible—in all its impact and influence!

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