When Dwight D. Eisenhower was Supreme Commander of the Allied Forces during World War II, he met with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in order to boost morale as D-Day drew ever closer. He must have known that the odds were stacked against his men — indeed, he expected the casualty rate for the 101st Airborne to run as high as 70%. “I’ve done all I can,” he’d told them. “Now it is up to you.” Later, as reported in Michael Korda’s biography Ike: An American Hero, Eisenhower stood on the roof of the nearby headquarters, with tears in his eyes, saluting each and every plane as it left for France.
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