Vague ramblings

During a break in the weather they set out to save the world

Posted in Musing by Ian Cundell on 5 June, 2014

One of Robert Capa’s incredible D -Day photographs

Tomorrow is the 70th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.

About now, 70 years ago, young men were making final preparations: checking kit, boarding aircraft or ships, mentally rehearsing what they had trained for in the previous months, saying silent or not-so-silent prayers –  and heading from the south coast of England towards the north coast of France – towards Normandy. It had been postponed before, but in a break in the weather, this was it.

It doesn’t matter what the challenge is. In the end you have to commit. On the 6 June 1944 the free world committed.

I do not doubt that President Obama will have some fine word to say in tribute to the veterans and their long-lost comrades. But I doubt he will encapsulate things more effectively than President Clinton did, overlooking Omaha Beach, on the 50th Anniversary:

Oh, they may walk with a little less spring in their step and their ranks are growing thinner, but let us never forget — when they were young, these men saved the world, President Clinton, 6 June 1994

Adding, of the fallen:

They were the fathers we never knew, the uncles we never met, the friends who never returned, the heroes we can never repay. ibid

There were British, Canadian and American servicemen, as well as Australians, Belgians, Czechoslovakians, French, Greek, Dutch , Kiwi, Norwegian and Polish in Eisenhower’s Great Crusade.

This is the truth that frames all the other stories of D-Day: They came together. They saved the World.

 

 

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