/ D Day remembrance , why now?

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aln - on 06 Jun 2014
Why is it such a big thing this year? I totally get the sacrifices people made, the horror of war, remembering the dead and celebrating the survivors. But why is it such a massive event this year? I don't remember a 70 years anniversary being a big thing for anything else.
Blue Straggler - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

It's "round decades". It was big on the 60th, and 50th, and 40th anniversaries. 70th anniversaries HAVE been big for other things.

Additionally, this is likely to be last the "round decade" anniversary which surviving servicemen from 1944 will see.
jezb1 - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Because there's not many veterans left and when the last one sadly goes we will have lost an important link to our past.

Even at the 75 year point there's going to be a lot less of them around.
Greenbanks - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Whatever the reason, it is sad that one of the few UKC threads (I haven't checked so apologies in advance) just raises the question-mark, however respectfully, rather than salutes these guys...

Then again, its probably more important to debate the grade of 3PS or whether or not JD is a pickpocket than embark on a thread to remember the sacrifices.

All in all a bit of a grim indictment of our noble sport...
aln - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> It's was big on the 60th, and 50th, and 40th anniversaries.

Much bigger this year than any of them.

70th anniversaries HAVE been big for other things.

Such as?

> Additionally, this is likely to be last the "round decade" anniversary which surviving servicemen from 1944 will see.

That makes sense and it was what I thought really. Some of the stories have been humbling and awe inspiring. Such amazing bravery and selflessness. There was a story on the radio about probably the youngest guy there. Lied about his age and landed on the Normandy beaches at the age of 15.

aln - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Greenbanks:

You're talking shite. I have nothing but respect for "these guys" (gals too) and I've already said it on this thread.
Greenbanks - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Erudite.
My remark was not aimed at you, even if it was clumsily worded.
aln - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Greenbanks:

> Erudite.

Talking shite is a good robust phrase.

> My remark was not aimed at you, even if it was clumsily worded.

Fair enough.

biped - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Additionally, this is likely to be last the "round decade" anniversary which surviving servicemen from 1944 will see.

This, and that it is A Very Big Thing, period.
The New NickB - on 06 Jun 2014
In reply to biped:

1. It gets a decent amount of media coverage every year.
2. It is significant anniversary.
3. Many, possibly most of the veterans won't seen the next significant anniversary.
4. I think government and media are quite geared to wartime remembrance with it also being the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WWI this year.
ow arm - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:
what the previous guy said specially points 3 and 4
Post edited at 00:00
stroppygob - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Probably the last big date that most of the veterans will be able to attend.
stroppygob - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:
Love this!!

> D-Day: Hove veteran disappears for Normandy trip.

> Staff had not been able to get Bernard Jordan on to an accredited tour to Normandy, but he made his own way there

> The former mayor of Hove, Bernard Jordan, left the home at 10:30 BST on Thursday, and was reported missing to Sussex Police that evening. Staff later discovered he had joined other veterans in France and was safe and well at a hotel in Ouistreham. Brighton and Hove police had tweeted: "90 year old veteran reported missing from care home. Turns out they'd said no to him going to #DDay70 but he went anyway #fightingspirit"
Post edited at 00:08
Gordon Stainforth - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

Love it. A bit like 'The 100-year-old Man who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared.'
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

OK ow arm and stroppygob I think we've established that now.
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to stroppygob:

Well done that man!
stroppygob - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:
Gotta admire these brave boys too;

> On the 70th anniversary of D-Day, 89-year-old veteran John 'Jock' Hutton has repeated a feat he undertook in June 1944, arriving at a commemoration of the landings by parachuting into a field in Normandy. At 89, Hutton is among the younger D-Day veterans attending tomorrow's commemoration, expected to be their last great gathering. On doctor's orders, he will make the jump in tandem with a serving soldier, Colour Sergeant Michael Blanchard. Just last year, Hutton was still performing parachute jumps on his own – but has been advised not to go solo any more after decades of damage to his joints.

> A 93-year-old World War II veteran returned this week to a battlefield in western France the same way he first arrived 70 years ago: He parachuted in, this time carrying an American flag. Jim "Pee Wee" Martin joined parachuters from around he world in a jump Thursday to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion of Normandy by Allied forces. He completed a tandem jump onto Utah Beach in western France. Seventy years earlier, he touched down the night before D-Day, landing in enemy territory. This time, he was greeted by smiling faces and a phalanx of cameras. As a member of the 101st Airborne Division, Martin parachuted over Utah Beach as the Allied forces bid to retake France and, eventually, the rest of Europe from Nazi Germany. They actually touched down in enemy-controlled territory at night, before what's referred to as D-Day.
Post edited at 00:37
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:
I have a story to tell about my Granda's experience in the 2nd World War if yer interested. Nothing to do with D Day
Post edited at 00:47
icnoble on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to stroppygob: just read that story, classic!

Chambers - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Lies and propaganda. Your rulers are getting you geared up for more war with their deeply unhistorical and jingoistic crap.
stroppygob - on 07 Jun 2014
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Chambers:

> Lies and propaganda.

What's lies and what propoganda?

Your rulers are getting you geared up for more war with their deeply unhistorical and jingoistic crap.

What's the shallowly historical and Un-jingoistic non-crap?

Gordonbp - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

They've decided to disband the Normandy Veterans Association - so this is the last year there'll be formal events.
crayefish - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

All respect to the brave veterans who stormed beaches in the face of heavy machinegun fire from almost unassailable positions. Bravery of the likes most of us will never see in our lifetimes.
Blue Straggler - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

>

> 70th anniversaries HAVE been big for other things.

> Such as?

Well it's clear that you will deny or belittle any examples I give you.
The formation of the BMC, and Operation Market Garden are two that spring to mind.

Next year's 70th anniversary of VE Day will likely overshadow this one.

You seem to be saying that a 70th shouldn't have the same weight as a 40th or 50th. Odd.
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:
> Well it's clear that you will deny or belittle any examples I give you.

How is that clear?

> The formation of the BMC, and Operation Market Garden are two that spring to mind.

I've never heard of the 2nd one, sounds interesting.

> You seem to be saying that a 70th shouldn't have the same weight as a 40th or 50th. Odd.

I'm not saying it shouldn't, I'm saying that in my experience it's unusual for a 70th anniversary to be celebrated to this extent. Not the "same weight" as you put it, but more heavily to use the same analogy, than say, the 50th anniversary.

U
Post edited at 10:58
Jerry67 - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

Next year is the 210th anniversary of Trafalgar and the 200th of Waterloo. Both round numbers, wonder what the anniversaries will bring?
Blue Straggler - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:


> I've never heard of the 2nd one, sounds interesting.

Bad example from me, as it's not had its 70th anniversary yet (and it was not a successful operation overall)


Blue Straggler - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Jerry67:

> Next year is the 210th anniversary of Trafalgar and the 200th of Waterloo. Both round numbers, wonder what the anniversaries will bring?

I doubt they will bring out any surviving veterans...which might diminish their publicity relative to D-Day etc.
Jerry67 - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

I'm not suggesting they should be on a par to D-Day, just interested as to what sort of event they might be.
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Blue Straggler - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

> Much bigger this year than any of them.


Media is bigger, that's all. Even ten years ago, you were not being bombarded with so much saturation news coverage, Facebook shares etc.
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Blue Straggler:

> Media is bigger, that's all.

That's it, plus as already stated by others, the age of the veterans.
mypyrex - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

I think it's worth considering that we may never have another generation like that again. Both world wars, as well as being waged in foreign theatres, have involved people "on the home front" with far more non military people being directly or indirectly involved in "the war effort". Unless you are unfortunate enough to suffer the loss of a loved one in a modern conflict wars tend to be more remote; at least for countries such as ours. I just get the feeling that in WW1 and WW2 there was far more of a sense of "we're all in this together".
mattrm - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

Simply because you can't remember that they made a similar amount of fuss over the 60th celebrations. IIRC they were televised live and most of BBC 1 was given over to celebrations for the day.
mypyrex - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to mattrm:

I was in a hotel in Basque country at that time and was watching live coverage of the Lancaster fly-past. I was impressed when a Dutch couple said what a wonderful sight it was. They then stood when OUR national anthem played.
Timmd on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to mypyrex:
I've just heard a veteran on Any Answers saying he doesn't like the use of guns and planes and weaponry to mark what happened, with how it risks glorifying what happened (in his opinion).

I guess we risk war happening again if we don't remember it sombrely.
Post edited at 14:17
Mr Lopez - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> I guess we risk war happening again if we don't remember it sombrely.

Funny then how the countries doing the Remembrance are the ones that have started all major modern wars...
mypyrex - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:

Err, did the UK actually start WW1 and WW2. I'd assumed that Germany defied clear ultimata and thus effectively started the conflicts/
Mr Lopez - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to mypyrex:

I think your concept of "modern" may differ slightly from mine... How about we define "modern" as something that happened this century and not 70+ years ago, shall we?

Timmd on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:
I think the veteran might have commented on politicians and their desire for peace, but I was half distracted at that point.
Post edited at 15:00
Antigua - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

If there was anything odd it was the way Angela Merkel was being treated. Sorry but it was them that started it.... O.K its 70 years on and things have moved on but still THEY started it!

Also it seem in fashion to say we were at war with the Nazi's rather than Germany or the germans. Bit like saying it was the Labour regime that invaded Iraq.
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Mr Lopez:

> How about we define "modern" as something that happened this century

If anything happened more than 14 years ago it's not modern?
nufkin - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Antigua:

> If there was anything odd it was the way Angela Merkel was being treated. Sorry but it was them that started it.... O.K its 70 years on and things have moved on but still THEY started it!

Angela Merkel wasn't born 70 years ago. How can she be blamed for starting the war?

> Also it seem in fashion to say we were at war with the Nazi's rather than Germany or the germans.

That's because the Nazis were the driving force, and are beaten and gone. Germany as a country still remains, but the people now living there aren't the ones who were at war seventy years ago, and it's not fair to associate them through geographic monikers.
And before someone says that's just political correctness, it's not, it's moral correctness


Mr Lopez - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

It depends who you ask. If you ask a British person they will class as modern the events of the last 100 years so that they can include the only 3 events won by Britain in recent memory. Namely 2 world wars and 1 football world cup in '66.

If you ask any other person they'll chose for such an aleatory classification a distinctive point in time that is significant and matches the concept. Thus the turn of the century fits the bill and it's widely used for historic purposes.

Unless you are an estate agent trying to sell a 1940's flat i think you'd struggle to justify anything from those dates as modern...
Antigua - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to nufkin:
> Angela Merkel wasn't born 70 years ago. How can she be blamed for starting the war?

> That's because the Nazis were the driving force, and are beaten and gone. Germany as a country still remains, but the people now living there aren't the ones who were at war seventy years ago, and it's not fair to associate them through geographic monikers.

> And before someone says that's just political correctness, it's not, it's moral correctness

I didn't say that Mrs Merkel was personally responsible just that as the official representative of the country that started the war it was odd to see her smiling and shaking the hands of veterans that 70 years ago her countrymen where trying to kill. Also its important to remember that this wasn't a normal (if thats the right word) war insofar as the Germans inflicted a level of inhumanity that I doubt will ever be forgotten.

I don't feel personally responsible for the deliberate fire bombing of German cities with the intent of killing as many civilians as possible (Terror Bombing I think is what Churchill called it) but do feel a moral connection to it as my grandad participated in it.
Post edited at 16:34
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply

Mrs Merkel smiling and shaking the hands of veterans that 70 years ago her countrymen where trying to kill.

I think that's wonderful, shows we've moved on.

> I don't feel personally responsible for the deliberate fire bombing of German cities with the intent of killing as many civilians as possible

I don't feel responsible but I got a shock when I discovered in the 70's that the mother of one of my classmates was German.
She'd survived the fire bombing of Dresden by jumping in the canal.
Antigua - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to aln:

> In reply

> Mrs Merkel smiling and shaking the hands of veterans that 70 years ago her countrymen where trying to kill.

> I think that's wonderful, shows we've moved on.

Totally agree I always cringe when you get someone like Jeremy Clarkson going on about "don't mention the war!"

I do also think that in memory and respect to those that were killed that there are parts of Remembrance that should remain with the Allies. In including the Germans are we giving equal weight to the death of a consentration camp guard in Allied bombing as an infantry man storming the beach on D-Day?
aln - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Antigua:

Bit like saying it was the Labour regime that invaded Iraq.

That sounds about right.
Timmd on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Antigua:
> If there was anything odd it was the way Angela Merkel was being treated. Sorry but it was them that started it.... O.K its 70 years on and things have moved on but still THEY started it!

There's almost no Germans ALIVE anymore who were alive during WW2...who is this THEY who started it?

If veterans from Germany and England who'd have previously fought one another can become friends, the rest of us can surely move on too.

Good grief.
Post edited at 20:15
Timmd on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Antigua:

Sorry about that, rather a random grumpy moment, I have work stress bubbling in the background.
Jim C - on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Timmd:

> If veterans from Germany and England who'd have previously fought one another can become friends, the rest of us can surely move on too.

Same have, some have not, and many will never forgive the Japanese, over the Germans, depends on what the individuals experienced.
It is not for us to forgive , (some may, but they will hopefully not forget . )


Firestarter on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Jerry67:

Trafalgar Day. October 21st.
Timmd on 07 Jun 2014
In reply to Jim C:
> Same have, some have not, and many will never forgive the Japanese, over the Germans, depends on what the individuals experienced.

> It is not for us to forgive , (some may, but they will hopefully not forget . )

Yes, it does depend on what they experienced.

I don't know how old Antigua is, but I'm guessing he's not a veteran, which is kind of why I'm wondering why he's talking about THEY started it, and who he's talking about.

It wasn't Angela Merkle who started it, but he explains her being treated funnily by saying 'THEY started it'.

Long dead Germans started it, so take it out on the ones alive today?

As a kid in Germany, I had some old guys tell me the were prisoners of war upon hearing I was English, they didn't say anything else, and weren't especially friendly.

It's not Angela Merkle's fault that my grandads had sh*t times in the war, and it's not my fault those old German guys did either.
Post edited at 22:45
Antigua - on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Timmd:

No problems

On an individual basis its natural to forgive but Angela Merkel isn't at the ceremony as an individual or in a personal capacity she's there to represent a country that committed some of the most appalling crimes in modern human history.

No I'm not a veteran nor are my parents but my Grandad was. I didn't know him that well but from what I do know I'm sure he would have been able to reconcile with the ordinary soldier on the battle field but the country as a whole? that I'm not so sure.

People have said its not the P.C brigade but it is interesting that within my life time we've gone from fighting a war with the German's (remembering my childhood memories of reading the 'Battle' comic) to fighting one against the Nazi's.
Timmd on 08 Jun 2014
In reply to Antigua:
> No problems

> On an individual basis its natural to forgive but Angela Merkel isn't at the ceremony as an individual or in a personal capacity she's there to represent a country that committed some of the most appalling crimes in modern human history.

Germans today see the defeat of the Nazis as their liberation from them. The Germany which/who is alive today didn't start it, like I had nothing to do with what happened to the German veterans who told me they'd been POWs. What had that got to do with me as a kid? I'm not responsible for my ancestors, just like today's Germans aren't. She's the representative of Germany, but not of her ancestors, in my opinion.

> No I'm not a veteran nor are my parents but my Grandad was. I didn't know him that well but from what I do know I'm sure he would have been able to reconcile with the ordinary soldier on the battle field but the country as a whole? that I'm not so sure.

My dad's parents mentioned to him how the Germans were the enemy when they found out he was doing business with Germans for his job, and were aghast apparently.

> People have said its not the P.C brigade but it is interesting that within my life time we've gone from fighting a war with the German's (remembering my childhood memories of reading the 'Battle' comic) to fighting one against the Nazi's.

Rightly so, IMHO, from reading up how Hitler used spin, he gave enough different messages out to appeal to different groups.

With hindsight, one can look back and ask how could the Germans let Hitler come to power, and blame them for what followed, but things are always obvious with hindsight, and most who voted for them are dead now.

Looking at Germany's representatives today, I don't think 'They started it, I think 'Their ancestors started it'. They're no more responsible for the Nazis than I am for what happened to German POWs.

To be honest it troubled me a little bit that you posted 'THEY started it', isn't it time for the people alive today to move on in a spirit of harmony?

Or else, when it comes to what happened in Kenya under British rule, couldn't somebody from Kenya say 'You started it' to yourself? It's something which can work both ways.

I realise I'm making it personal, but nationalism can be a dangerous thing. If Merkle was there is a spirit of 'goodness', the least we can do is not think 'THEY started it'.
Post edited at 14:35

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