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.
> 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.
> 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.
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.
> 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"
> 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.
> 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.
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".
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.
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.
> 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
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...
> 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.
> 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?
> 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 . )
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.
> 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'.