Saturday, June 06, 2009

Remembering D- Day

Today is the 65th anniversary of D-Day.

The preparations for this year's commemoration turned into something of a diplomatic shambles after it was initially planned to be a "Franco-American affair" with no offical presence from Britain or any other countries despite the fact that Britain and other countries played a significant part in D-Day. Without dwelling on the lack of historical knowledge, Prince Charles was invited at the last minute to represent Britain today so the issue can be seen as closed.

I visited some of the Normandy beaches a few years ago and struggled to imagine the possibility of landing on vast open beaches under machine gun fire. Nonetheless a near impossible task was achieved that was essential for the liberation of Europe. Without D-Day, western Europe would have faced two grim possibilities:

- continued Nazi occupation or
- eventual absorbtion into the Soviet bloc.

D-Day meant that France and western Europe enjoyed their freedom once again, a privilege that many parts of Eastern Europe had to wait over 40 years for. D-Day was only possible through the sacrifice of thousands of men who never made it off the beaches. We remember them today.

The clip below was posted by Iain Dale on his website this morning. It is the words of a gracious man who honoured the fallen of his country as well as honouring the contribution of all those nations who took part in events on D-Day. There was no "diplomatic shambles" at this D-Day commemoration, 25 years ago. It is difficult to imagine a more crafted and inclusive speech honouring all the allies who took part.


Rositta said...

Many Canadian lives were lost that day, sadly...ciao

Luis said...

Yes I do realise that Rositta. I have seen the Canadian cemetries in France and the size of these shows how much Canada sacrificed for the freedom of Europe. Likewise in the First World War.

I hope Canada was fully represented at this year's commemorations.