We have heard much about D-Day this weekend. I am not here to question the bravery of U.S. soldiers or the evils of the Nazis. But I do want to point out two things that we don’t hear much about this time of year.
We are continually told that the D-Day invasion helped to liberate Europe from the Nazis. True. But rarely do we hear that after Europe was liberated from Hitler, much of it was turned over to Stalin.
And then there is the effect of the D-Day invasion on civilians. According to an article about Antony Beevor’s new book, D-Day, 20,000 French civilians were killed within three months of the D-Day landing. Some villages in Normandy only recently began having D-Day celebrations. What? How ungrateful these people were for the “hundreds of tons of bombs destroying entire cities and wiping out families.” Or perhaps it was because of the “theft and looting of Normandy households and farmsteads by liberating soldiers” that “began on June 6 and never stopped during the entire summer.” Or perhaps it was the “3,500 rapes by American servicemen in France between June 1944 and the end of the war.”
Please don’t write and tell me how brave your father or grandfather was on D-Day. I am not disputing that for a minute. It is the horrors of war for civilians that is my point. I don’t want there to have to be another D-Day.7:45 pm on June 7, 2009 Email Laurence M. Vance