Saturday, June 06, 2009

D Day Memorial - 65 years on and counting.


Today I watched live on TV the D-Day memorial ceremony in France.

It was wonderful to see Prince Charles and the political leaders of Britain, US, Canada and France come together with the military folk who are still around from 1944.

They all showed great dignity and respect, coming together to remember those heroes who died on D Day 65 years ago today. I tell my children, and will tell my new grandchildren when they are old enough, to remember these famous words spoken on every Remembrance Day service in November:

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years contemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning. We will remember them.”

It is times like this that being British makes me feel blessed and proud remembering the sacrifices of so many millions of my Grandfather’s generation who died to keep me free.

The video above is President Obama's 15 minutes address at the ceremony which is extremely moving - it made me cry anyway. I hope you have time to watch it in full.

12 comments:

Dick Field said...

Thank you so much for memorializing this momentous day, Trevor - and for your commitment to keep the memory alive, even with your grandchildren.

For anyone interested, the full broadcast day of the NBC network on D-Day is being run by Rat Patrol Radio on Live365. It is synchronized to the actual time of the original broadcast. Great music and news reports. Go to: http://www.live365.com/stations/torgen_magnusson
Hit Play button.

Marilyn Jess, DTM said...

Thanks, Trevor, and thanks, Dick Field. I was hoping to find the video of today's ceremonies, and now I can.

The Obama speech was not only moving, it brought back memories of other wars where so many others died for the same ideals.

CSPAN 3 also ran several presidential speeches today, which were made at the Normandy cemetary.--Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and G.W. Bush. These were equally moving.

Trevor Gay said...

Thank you so much Dick - it is an absolute pleasure, privilege and honour to remember our War heroes.

I think it should be made compulsory to remember them.

There will be a time very soon when no one will be alive on this planet who was around during World War One (1914-18). Then it will be world War Two.

We have to be the people carrying the torch my friend. We owe them everything.

Trevor Gay said...

Thanks Marilyn - words alone can inspire me .... but when spoken so wonderfully by gifted orators such as your President I cry every easily :-)

Trevor Gay said...

We must also remember in our thoughts at this anniversary that 20 million Russians died (20 million is the best estimate but some argue it was as high as 27 million)in the battle for freedom in World War Two.

It is accepted that but for the efforts of the Russian Army, Hitler would not have been defeated.

Dan Gunter said...

The stories should and will live on, provided we do not forget. Each day we live, work, and play in countries free from tyranny should serve as a reminder to us to preserve those stories, as well as a living tribute to those who lived those stories. And died in them.

mark jf said...

And we should remember the fallen German soldiers as well. Not all of them were evil and many were conscripts and/or acting under orders.

Indeed, we should remember all those who perished, whichever "side" they were on and whatever nationality: forced into conflict by a despotic, murderous regime.

Trevor Gay said...

Indeed Mark - as with all wars. Pointless is a word that springs to mind.

hucknjim said...

Trevor,

Thanks so much for the post and the video. I have been privileged to to get to know and count a few as friends some WWII vets. We owe them a debt we cannot repay.

John

Trevor Gay said...

John - no argument from me Sir.

Like you I have listened in awe to the stories of many great veterans of World War Two during my lifetime and it is truly a great education.

Beats reading any books anyday!

hucknjim said...

Trevor,

I have to say that hearing the stories of WWII vets is a great education, but I don't discount reading books. As someone who has loved to read ever since I learned how, I view listening to veterans' stories and the knowledge I've gained from books as entirely complementary.The stories I've heard from vets put a personal stamp on the history I've read while the history puts their stories into a larger context.

John

Trevor Gay said...

Hi John - Sorry I didn’t mean to suggest reading books has no value. What I meant to say was that listening to stories ‘does it’ for me more effectively than reading. I'm sure that reading books in support of people's own stories can only add to the appreciation of our history.

I love reading but I wish I were a better, more focused and disciplined reader. I have a life-long habit of STARTING many books!

Recently we had someone staying with us and she reads a whole book in one day – and by that I mean a 200 page book! … Oh how I wish I could do that!