July 23, 2014

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Why is D-Day Important Anymore?

So many of our younger citizens have no appreciation for what D-Day is, and why it is a significant turning point in history. That's just wrong.

This is my own personal Blog entry, not a news story nor anyone else's opinion but my own.

So this last June 6th was the 70th anniversary of D-Day. And as expected, a number of "packages"(pre-recorded reports)  were trotted out by the News Networks and aired to commemorate the day.

There were no great discussions of the significance, save for a line or two about how it marked the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany. In some cases, these stories were re-written or edited down to a shorter form by younger staff members at various news stations, and aired in an abbreviated form. I ran into at least two versions of the story in which the narrator/reporter stated that D-Day was the final battle of WWII.

The FINAL battle.

Think about that for a moment.

This means that the writer didn't understand the original script, misunderstood what "the beginning of the end for Nazi Germany" meant, wrote the wrong summary, and passed it a person to record their voice....who ALSO didn't catch the error...and it passed an editor and the producer, and made it onto the air TWICE before anyone noticed.

In effect, this error slights the entire year and a half of the American involvement in WWII against the Germans AND the Japanese, and shows an appalling lack of knowledge of the atomic bomb and the sacrifice of thousands of young Americans so that they can live free.

Now, I can understand that some younger people may not have been around or in families that were directly affected by the war... however, this rewritten history passed through multiple hands before someone noticed the error. This seems just plain wrong to me.

In an age when so many people get their knowledge from their smart phone, a Google search or Wikipedia, it seems like they have no value for reading on their own. Even if we give them the benefit of the doubt that they learn differently from our generation, why have they not seen the dramatization of WWII in recent movies?

"Band of Brothers"

"The Monuments Men"

"The Longest Day"

"Pearl Harbor"

"In Harm's Way"

"Saving Private Ryan"

There are any number of filmed stories that might begin to show the horrors of war and the sacrifices that were made, that our society might continue to exist.

Just the other day, a few of us were speculating what might have happened had England fallen during the Battle of Britain. We assumed that there might not have been a staging area for the Invasion at Normandy, and if Nazi Germany did not have to worry about a western front... what might have happened on the eastern front with Russia? Could they have taken Moscow and a good chunk of Russia? How long might Hitler or those who followed him have held Europe? Might Nazi Germany still exist today, and would there ever have been a space race, or the development of the Atlas II booster rocket, the space shuttle or the International Space Station?

In short, our entire future rested on that one huge military operation on the "Day of Days".   I wonder if the younger generation realizes that. I wonder if they care.

I would urge all families to take their older children to see some of these wartime pictures. You may have to rent them from Redbox or order them on Netflix, but the time and effort it takes to set up a family viewing of "The Longest Day" or "Saving Private Ryan" could be invaluable.

Finally, it was asked of Winston Churchill if the museums and art galleries, theaters and other cultural centers should be closed down during the London Blitz. His famous response, (that I paraphrase here) "No, certainly not!  Otherwise, what are we fighting for?" is echoed in the recent George Clooney, Matt Damon movie "The Monuments Men". It's an important film. A thinking man's film.

I urge all adults to seek out that movie and find out what we were fighting for. It's a different sort of cost of war.  And one that we should not forget... on this "Day of Days."

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