Saturday, June 6, 2009
June 6th, 2009
My Dear America:
On this day, June 6th, 65 years ago, Allied troops, mainly American, British and Canadian soldiers, sailed across the English channel to France. By this point France had been occupied by German soldiers, who had fortified the French coast in preparation for the assault that they knew was bound to come. By the time D Day finally arrived Europe was almost completely under the control of Hitler's forces. D Day saw thousands of allied troops brutally cut down on the shores of France before they even had a chance to get off the sandy French beaches.
This morning American President Barack Obama, Prince Charles and Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Great Britain and Prime Minister Harper of Canada met with French President Sarkozy on the French fields of Normandy that were the last resting place of so many allied freedom fighters. The leaders of the allied countries today celebrated the fallen heroes of Word War II.
The speeches given by the leaders of the Free World Countries on this day celebrated the courage and determination that was shown on D Day. Just prior to today's D Day celebration President Obama, with Germany's President Merkel and Jewish Author, Ellie Wiesel, visited the site of the Buchenwald Death Camp, where countless Jews were tortured and murdered by the soldiers of Germany's Third Reich.
Also this week was another speech given by President Obama in Cairo, Egypt, in which he mainly addressed his comments to the Muslim and Arab World. President Obama pointed out that Muslims and Americans and Europeans have much more in common than is often recognized. This speech seems to have been well received all over the world.
At Buchenwald Obama, after his remarks, turned the podium over to Ellie Wiesel who had been rescued by Allied Troops from this place in an era long past. President Obama personally invited Wiesel to accompany the President on the Buchenwald trip. Although Wiesel was not officially scheduled to speak on this occasion his heartfelt rememberance of his life in this German Hell on Earth will probably be the major speech that will be remembered from this German stop on Obama's trip.
At Normandy on D Day Sarkozy, Brown, Harper and Obama all gave great speeches that will be well remembered. But Wiesel's personal recollections of the reality of man's inhumanity to man will be the hardest speech to forget in this entire Presidential trip.
65 years down the line from D Day and the Normandy Invasion it is easy for Americans and others in the free world to forget the Terrorist Nations including the Nazi's and Hitler in Germany, Mussolini in Italy and Hitrohito in Japan. It took the American people the horror of Pearl Harbor to finally sit up and take notice of what was happening in the world. The true Axis of Evil, Germany, Italy and Japan were quickly takng over the known world and were cruelly and brutally exercising their killer instincts on those who opposed them or those who did not necessarily oppose them but who they didn't like. It was not only the Jews who the Nazi's targeted for extinction in their Death Camps. Hitler didn't like the gypsys or the handicapped either. They, along with the Jews, did not belong in Hitler's concept of German perfection of the Master Race.
Year by year we lose more and more of our brave World War II Veterans who came back to our country after their service and became regular citizens of America. They have, for the most part, not been the kind of people who stood out in a crowd. They have been the kind of people who blended in with the crowd. They have been our Fathers, Grandfathers, Uncles, Brothers and Husbands. They have lived among us for 65 years, occasionally doing something special but mostly being the kind of people who didn't have much to say about politics, although if you engaged them in conversations you tended to find out just how knowlegable and special they really were. They seemed like simple people but they were not. Although many of them did not necessarily have personal visions of horror from the Front, they all knew other soldiers who had found out the hard way just how much had to be sacrificed for the Free World to remain free. They worked hard at their jobs hopping for the days when they could retire and fish or just take it easy. They asked very little from us and they almost never bragged about their service.
In Fact, they almost never even talked about their service and were often times embarassed when others talked about it. They were the Greatest Generation and they never demanded much in the way of anything from us. They just did their job and if they were lucky enough to come back alive they lived their lives among us with an appreciation of freedom that many of us can never understand.
They were just regular soldiers doing their job. Thats all they have to say when thanked for their service. But the truth is that Hitlers Soldiers and Mussolini's and Hirohito's soldiers were all doing their jobs too. Why were German soldiers able to carry out the horrors of the Third Reich. The truth is that they truly were, like soldiers before them since the beginning of time, truly just carrying out orders because that's what soldiers do and have done since the first solier of history marched upon the field of battle. The German, Italian and Japanese soldiers should probably have questioned the lunacy of cruelty in battle or agaist civillians who did not desrve to die. Thank goodness that our leaders, especially Roosevelt and Churchill, were the right leaders for this extremely important time in world history. Certainly the hands of all soldiers are not clean in the epic struggle of the invasion of Nomandy and the defeat of Hitler, Mussolini and Hirohito. No war has ever been fought by people who were unwilling to kill. Death and War go together like mashed potatos and gravy. When you are a soldier and your back is to the wall and it's kill of be killed, you kill. But freedom's soldiers have learned over the years that killing should only be done when it is a last resort and as soldier has no other choice. Our soldiers, mainly a volunteer army in World War II, had no choice but to do what they did. They went to war with the knowlege that they might not come back from the experience and many thousands of them didn't return home alive. We owe these brave people, our brave veterans, everything. We certainly owe them respect and appreciation. Without them Hitler and others like him could have turned the world into a world filled with Death Camps like Aushwitz or Buchenwald. The brave soldiers of World War II allies kept that from happening to US.
On this 65th Anniversary of the salvation of the free world we salute our veterans for their valor and their sacrifice and we tell them truthfully just how much we love them and respect them and appreciate what they have done for every one of us who live in freedom in the new millenium.
Their sacrifices will not be forgotten and History will never let us forget just how important their sacrifice was.
We need to learn from experience in 2009 that in a very short period of time hatred and insanity can threaten and destroy our world just as easlity today as it almost did 65 years ago.