Sunday, June 06, 2004

D-Day + 60 | Ten years ago, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Normandy invasion, the newspaper for which I was then working sent me to interviewe a dozen or so local D-Day veterans and write up their recollections. The current geopolitical situation, as well as human nature, I suppose, have led to numerous political comments regarding today's 60th anniversary. Rather than delve into those, I prefer to recall my conversations with these men who parachuted into French villages in the pre-dawn murk and splashed off of landing ships onto a shore littered with dead bodies and being torn apart by enemy fire. To a man they refused to believe that in launching the liberation of Europe they had done anything special. They were simply doing what they were told and trying not to get killed in the process, they told me. They were young and nervous and scared as hell.

To them and all who helped bring peace and freedom to a war-ravaged corner of the world 60 years ago, I say thank you.


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