Here’s the news report, sent to me by a friend some while ago:
June 6, 1944. -NORMANDY- Three hundred French civilians were killed and thousands more wounded today in the first hours of America’s invasion of continental Europe. Casualties were heaviest among women and children.
Most of the French casualties were the result of the artillery fire from American ships attempting to knock out German fortifications prior to the landing of hundreds of thousands of U.S. troops. Reports from a makeshift hospital in the French town of St. Mere Eglise said the carnage was far worse than the French had anticipated and reaction against the American invasion was running high. “We are dying for no reason,” said a Frenchman speaking on condition of anonymity. “Americans can’t even shoot straight. I never thought I’d say this, but life was better under Adolph Hitler.”
The invasion also caused severe environmental damage. American troops, tanks, trucks and machinery destroyed miles of pristine shoreline and thousands of acres of ecologically sensitive wetlands. It was believed that the habitat of the spineless French crab was completely wiped out, threatening the species with extinction.
Amusing? Yes, sure. But sobering when you ask yourself this: could we actually prosecute an operation like the Normandy landings today–I don’t mean “Would such an operation be within our tactical and strategic competence?” It would. But it is not at all clear that media would acquiesce in the operation–acquiesce, I mean, in their own survival.
Now, on the 65th [Oops–I meant 64th, as several kind readers have pointed out] anniversary of D-Day, I propose 2 moments of silence. One in thanks for the brave men who fought and died that tyranny might be checked and freedom flourish, one in hopes that, when and if we are challenged again by such enormity as Hitler’s Reich, we will have the courage and character to meet it forthrightly.