D-Day Memorial planned in Normandy in time for 75th anniversary

March 7, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

AFP photo



Hazel Speed

It has been announced that a special commemorative memorial is planned for Normandy in time for the 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Apparently, quite rightly so, it will pay remembrance to all who fought, within any Military or Merchant, (civilian), capacity, representing all Nations involved – in respect of those who gave their lives, or subsequently later died of their wounds – others returned home wounded and also no doubt emotionally scarred for life. Many would have suffered with PTSD, an unrecognised condition as such in that day and age.

There is also planned a specific British Memorial and translation centre.

Albeit the beaches of Normandy have been scarred in practical and historical terms of D-Day (perhaps the tide still washes up an occasional reminder of one kind or another), they can never just be termed as stretches of beach again, which is no doubt why any memorial itself is not going to be at the approaches leading thereto, acknowledging sensitivities of all.

That said, one wonders if it would be suitable to return a gesture of pre War/D-Day innocence as well, such as a discrete little second monument in an appropriate area at the top of one approach to any given stretch of beach, depicting a group of children having placed flags into a stack of concrete sand castles, perhaps their hands still gripped to the little bases, about to let go – with buckets and spades nearby. The flags could be in place for safety, but represented would be ones of all relevant Nations being honoured.

Then when children visiting the beaches in generations to come see this monument, it gives their Parents, other relatives or friends an opportunity to explain its significance then also, take them to visit the main monument itself.

It always amazes me how service personnel were expected to be fighting one day then when eventually returning to their home country it was the norm, as soon as possible, to return to their former employment, if they still had one to go to due to a host of reasons, not of their making but because of the effects of the war itself (the owner may have also been ‘called up’ to fight and subsequently lost their lives, or a bombing raid anywhere in the UK could have destroyed homes, factories, shops, etc).

It was (and still is for those who have been or remain serving in modern day conflicts), a lot to expect of the human mind to have to kill for one’s Queen and Country one day and return to any civilian capacity post military service.

Following a recent visit to my local library, I found a most edifying book about Bletchley Park (and have referred to the work of that secret establishment in a previous article), but this particular published work is one I would highly recommend. ‘The Debs of Bletchley Park and Other Stories‘ by Michael Smith, published by Aurum Press, 2015.

The story of how personnel broke important Enigma Codes and events that were leading up to D-Day itself. It provides a great insight into the social times of years of WWII and limitations of available technical machinery, thereby creating the need for the skills of countless gifted people. There will be many other similar quality books but as I am currently reading this one I can highly recommend it.

We are all aware that Bletchley is recruiting again and especially seeking teenagers with IT skills.

We must all support the Monument in Normandy and honour those who paid the ultimate sacrifice, remembering the following, always…


“When you go Home, tell them of us and say,
For your Tomorrow, we gave our Today”

John Maxwell Edmunds










Hazel Speed

Photo (c) Hazel Speed – used by kind permision to Tuck Magazine

Hazel Speed is a Philosopher, Writer, and Artist with various creative projects at differing stages of development. Her flaship project is an animation which has produced a film short: www.thepinkprofessor.com. She has also written an E-novel, ‘Just Suppose…!‘ which is available via the attached link.

Art sites: www.candystoreart.comwww.terrificart.comwww.artbadges.co.uk.

1 Comment

  1. Rupen Savoulian March 08, at 01:42

    There is no doubt that the commemorations for D-Day are emotionally moving and touching. The memories of that fateful day in Normandy are undoubtedly etched in the consciousness of those veterans who survived. But these kinds of commemorative events leave me with a number of concerns. Former US president Barack Obama, when addressing the D-Day veterans on the 70th anniversary of that landing, used the occasion to launch an unadulterated celebration of US militarism. He called the US military the greatest force for freedom the world has ever known. Do not use commemorative events like D-Day to celebrate the eruption of US militarism and wars overseas. Wrapping itself in the mantle of righteous war that D-Day represents, US officials and presidents have disguised the predatory ambitions of American imperialist adventures overseas as humanitarian projects. The bombing of Vietnam, Laos, the invasions of Iraq, Afghanistan etc, are not motivated by humanitarian impulses to liberate subjugated people from dictatorships, but were motivated by geostrategic designs to impose imperial rule and advance economic and political interests. Obama's detachment from reality regarding the Normandy landings were not an aberration or isolated incident. It is quite obvious that current US president Trump is preparing the escalation of American wars overseas, with his constantly belligerent rhetoric serving as a warning to all others. Not only has he threatened war with Islamic nations in the Middle East, but has also initiated trade war with his former partners in Europe. His inauguration speech was a signal to everyone, including Canberra, London, Paris, Berlin, Ottawa, Tokyo - the US is on top, and intends to remain so. Do not use the D-Day landings to obfuscate the imperialist origins of American war-making. Those soldiers who fought and died on the beaches of Normandy were not fighting for greater corporate profits for American financial interests, but were fighting against a vicious dictatorship in Europe. Do not sully their sacrifice with tawdry references to American exceptionalism - America is not the beacon of the 'free world', but an imperialist competitor fighting with its European and Asian rivals for economic dominance. While former president Obama praised the D-Day veterans, in his speech, for having “waged war so that we might know peace,” and called for God’s blessing upon today’s US military “who serve today for the peace and security of our world", it is quite clear that US imperialism is recklessly escalating the probability of a third world war. Not for peace is the US administration ratcheting up tensions with Russia, China, North Korea etc, but for the purpose of economic and imperial interests. It is quite true that Britons will never, ever be slaves, as the song Rule Britannia suggests. However, that does not obscure the fact that Britons enslaved and colonised huge parts of the world over decades, building an empire on violent conquest and extermination. The First Nations of Australia were definitely not the passive recipients of the benefits of British colonisation. Empire-building is not an expression of freedom, but a project of economic and cultural slavery. German imperialism suffered a serious defeat with the end of World War Two. Let us not advocate an alternative imperialism in its place.


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