June 6, 1944, 70 years ago the Allied Forces landed on the beaches of Normandy. It was supposed to be June 5, 1944, but weather delayed it.
Every year we remember those who fought for us. There’s pomp and ceremony and we say we care.
But what about the rest of the year?
Should veterans have to fight for food, shelter, care, and support?
Should we still keep fighting, in wars, in our own countries, among ourselves?
More than 40% don’t vote in North America. We’re so used to our freedoms we take them for granted. We will stay in line for a sale or tickets or waiting for a new product, but don’t take 5 minutes to vote. I know, I voted this morning, it took under 5 minutes; people wait in line at drive-thrus longer than that to get coffee or a burger. I really don’t get it.
Many died that day and for the months after as they fought to take back German-occupied Western Europe and tried and succeeded in turning the tides of the war.
Many call them heroes, but I think most of them didn’t think of themselves that way, they were doing their duty, carrying out orders.
Like police officers and firefighters, soldiers serve their country and its citizens by putting their lives on the line. We see it as brave, they see it as a job, that someone must protect, serve, save, and defend.
Maybe that’s what makes them truly heroes, that they don’t do it to be heroes.
The Normandy landings, codenamed Operation Overlord (with the naval aspect codenamed Operation Neptune) is still the largest seaborne invasion in history. Many movies, books, TV shows, songs, etc. have come from that day. Obviously many aren’t factual, after all, history is written by the winners, but still interesting.
It wasn’t until 1997 that the undersea documentation of the D-Day assault were looked at in a historically significant way, sadly, by then, there was erosion and reclamation by the sea. First underwater archaeological study and surveys in 2000.
They found some interesting information and artefacts as well as some discrepancies.
To this day, small pieces of history haunt the shores and seas of Normandy, a bizarre reminder that history should be remembered, all those who fought, honoured.
I was thinking, if they tried to do something like this today social media would probably tell the German forces every move, how many troops, ships, planes…there would be pictures of parachutes and tweets and pix of where they were landing, people updating their Facebook status and Vine vids…Instagrammers would briefly interrupt posting pix of food to tell where and how many allied forces were and what they were wearing. And many, many memes.
We still don’t know the exact number that died during the Allied invasion. 14 years ago Carol Tuckwiller, a former librarian was assigned the significant mission of identifying every Allied soldier who died on June 6, 1944.
She spent over six years searching through records and evidence, contacting sources, etc., eventually giving up not because all soldiers were accounted for, but she ran out of credible information.
So 70 years later and out of more than 150,000 warriors who went in that day, no one knows for sure how many died. But her work brought many names of fallen soldiers into the historical records and onto plaques and made us realize there were more lives lost than we had understood.
Despite the glossy ceremonies under sun upon sand we must always remember the price of war and the higher price of oppression.
Lives lost, futures stolen, dignity torn asunder, money and power the tyrannical rulers…we could be talking about 70 years ago or any day in various parts of the world, sadly, too little has changed.
Politicians make hypocritical speeches about how much our veterans mean to us while many veterans struggle just to get by in their day-to-day lives.
Those who once stormed the beaches to fight the enemy and liberate oppressed people now have to storm their own governments for the care and attention they should receive with thanks for their valiant service.
Some of the best images of the D-Day invasion are from Canadian war artist, Orville Fisher (the 3 paintings pictured above, please check out his other work, truly, truly amazing).
I doubt the significance of the weathered faces and stiff bodies of the remaining veterans is lost on them or us; make no mistake, most will not be here to celebrate 75 years after D-Day.
We must then remember for them.
The ongoing struggle between the government and veterans sometimes goes nuclear.
Whether or not you believe in war, it happens. Soldiers leave their family, friends, their homes to go to various parts of the world to serve their country, sometimes risking their lives.
Sometimes they return home fine, sometimes injured, sometimes in a casket draped in a flag to represent their country, the country they died for.
Oh, the government of the day will tell their citizens repeatedly, I mean over and over again, ad nauseum that they treat the veterans well. Patting themselves on the back and bragging in a self-congratulatory manner as rhetoric and champagne flows. Meanwhile vets are struggling for heat, food, medical care, even a home.
Robotic talking points about how this government has done more for vets than another other government.
I believe that most citizens respect their veterans. They know the price they paid or were willing to pay. They stepped up and left their families, friends, and homes to fight for us, to protect us, to serve us, sometimes making traumatic or even deadly sacrifices. We should repay them for their service.
Every government says they care.
All governments need to do more.
Remember our vets. Not just on Memorial Day or Remembrance Day or Veterans’ Day, but every single day.
Veterans commit suicide in countries around the world at a startling rate. Why? Because they’re not receiving the help they need.
They were of service to their country and yet services, benefits, and support they should receive are withheld, cut, and clawed back. Some vets are still looking for jobs, good luck with that.
Veterans have to once again fight, against their own government for what they were promised for serving their countries.
Meanwhile our governments spend money on important things like:
$150,000 to figure out a way to save the human race from zombies, ummm, did someone not get that The Walking Dead is fictional?
Millions to find ways to trim their budgets? I’ll give you this one for free – don’t spend $20 million on advice.
A million to research how not to burst a cooked sausage?
Millions spent studying love on the internet, intelligent life on Earth including the US Congress?
Lawyers’ fees for allegedly inappropriate activities?
Golf Club memberships?
Bridges and roads to nowhere?
Millions on computer systems that are dysfunctional, easily hacked and/or redundant?
People that work to collect taxes also owe billions in taxes?
Trips around the world hundreds of politicians and businesspeople?
Billionaires get subsidies for beachfront properties, companies, mansions while the average person, including Vets struggle to make ends meet?
Spending millions to study what food tastes like on Mars, let me help with this one, who cares?
Millions to promote governments and what they say they’ve accomplished?
Paying for Likes and Tweets, trolls to promote their viewpoints and put down oppositional viewpoints on social media?
Millions/year to find out what the media is saying about their government and corporations?
Are you reading this on Facebook? They get millions in tax refunds each year, no worries, they’re not alone, many, many other corporations got a helping hand too.
Plane and helicopter rides as well as limos, town cars and drivers?
$50,000 to study how to stop traveler’s diarrhea, in the Caribbean?
Professional sports teams listed as non-profits so they get bigger tax breaks?
Millions in audits and expenses?
Billions in procurements on planes that aren’t operational and some that might never be, libraries that will never open, empty military bases, empty warehouses, etc.?
Millions celebrating wars, but little money for those who survived them.
Legal fees fighting veterans over the claw back of military pensions.
Using drones to count sheep? Hey, maybe these people that waste your money can’t get to sleep.
And so much more waste. It’s a disgrace.
You can tell everything you need to know about a government and a society by how they treat their most vulnerable members.
How are we doing?
Politics needs to be about service, duty, and helping citizens, less about photo ops, game playing, and manipulation.
Just in case I wasn’t feeling old enough, I just realized this movie is 30 years old…30…how is that even possible? Of course, it was a classic from the moment it was conceived. I have watched this movie so many times, I actually had it memorized, er, maybe still do. Some of my best times were watching this with friends, laughing hysterically.
I learned so much about The Meaning of Life from this film.
From the moment The Crimson Permanent Assurance building sets sail, until we find out the real meaning of life, with gratuitous images.
Here’s what I got from this.
Remember, always get the most expensive machines in the hospital, in case the administrator comes, especially the machine that goes ping…
Find The fish…
In Heaven every day is Christmas.
If you’re feeling small and insecure, think of how unlikely your birth and pray there’s intelligent life in space, ’cause there’s bugger all down here on Earth.
If someone asks for your liver for a live organ donation, no matter how good their song, say no.
And gosh, we’re all really impressed down here, I can tell You.
Merry Christmas to all, I think I may have to go watch this again.
Soldiers fought for their families, friends, and countries. Democracy has been won in many other ways as well, but agree or disagree, their sacrifice is amazing.
Soldiers left their homes, their families and friends and they went to war. Some didn’t agree. Many didn’t understand. Most didn’t want to go. Most were scared.
All came back changed if they came back at all. Some were physically altered, some mentally. But they all gave something of themselves to keep our country free.
Veterans should be treated with dignity and respect. Given help, support, work, and should never be discharged just before they’re about to receive their pensions.
As for the white poppies, they’ve been around in one form or another for over 80 years. I love that they stand for peace. I just disagree with giving them out around Remembrance Day. That time is the for those who fought. You don’t have to agree, but what’s done is done. Give them out some other time.
So next time you see a veteran, buy a poppy, buy a few for family and friends and remember, they fought so you could be free. Whether or not you agree with war, this is a time for respect.
Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are about honouring those who fought for their countries, for others.
You don’t have to agree with war or the reasons for it to remember those that fought and those that died.
I’m saddened and disappointed to see stores, malls, and streets decorated for Christmas before Remembrance Day has been respected.
The commercialism of Christmas is bad enough, but this is rude and disrespectful.
In Tacky Stores
In stores Christmas decorations flow
between the candy canes, row on row,
With disrespect to soldiers gone
Christmas cheer doth early don
Cries scarce heard amid the carols blow.
They are the Shoppers. Short days ago
Was Halloween and now before the snow,
Bought and were bought, and now they shop
In Tacky Stores.
Take up the quarrel with the stores:
Pushing Christmas tackiness galores
The dignity of those we’ve lost.
If ye break faith and ignore the cost
If Christmas before Remembrance tore
In Tacky Stores.
With all due respect to John McCrae and all those who fought, were wounded, and died in service to their countries.
Christmas comes after Remembrance Day.