Hello! So the News Media is all over the 70th. Anniversary of the Normandy Invasion, and Political Hacks from all over the Globe are there, bloviating. Now, let me make one thing perfectly clear: ALL the Veterans and those who didn’t live long enough to become Veterans of the Normandy Invasion EARNED their place in History. And they deserved to be Honored and Remembered. That’s not my Issue. I have a couple of things about D-Day that bug me, though.
First off, whoever that News Reporter was that said the Famous Line in 1944 “The Allied Invasion of Europe has begun!” needed to smacked up the side of the Head. Uh, Hello? McFly? What happened in SICILY on the night of 9-10 July, 1943? Why, Allied Paratroopers and Gliders INVADED EUROPE! And the Ground Troops hit the beaches the next morning. Those of us who know something about World War Two know that the only thing about the Mediterranean Theater that was a “Soft Underbelly” was the Mud that the Troops slogged and died in. Otherwise, it was as hard as the Volcanic rock of Mt. Vesuvius! But it started almost a year before Normandy. Want to get a tiny sense of what the Med War was like? Find a copy of the Movie “The Story of G. I. Joe.”
Now, to give Gen. Eisenhower his due, in his Great Crusade Speech prior to the Normandy Invasion, he did say that they were opening up another Front, and acknowledged what was happening in other parts of Europe. He should know, he invaded North Africa and Sicily. But somehow, over the years, there’s been an Impression that the U.S. was bombed at Pearl Harbor, the Marines fought the Pacific War single-handidly, and we “Magically Appeared” in France 70 years ago.
That’s just wrong. World War Two was Hell Come to Earth. Let’s keep it simple. It was a fight to the finish to take out Imperial Japan and it’s Allies (not many, true) and Nazi Germany and it’s Allies. And there were a Shit-Ton of Nazi Allies. Millions of them served the Germans. I should know. Relatives of mine in Hungary fought and supported Nazi Germany, along with Romanians, Finns, Italians, and others. There were damn few Neutral nations during the war, especially in Europe. Switzerland, Sweden, Portugal, Spain and Ireland were it. Everyone else over there had a dog in that fight.
And another thing. The Allies fought the War all over the Planet. From the Battle of the Atlantic, sending Merchant Ships up against German U-Boats and Land-Based Bombers and Fighters just to keep England and Russia supplied, to the Air Wars over Europe and the Med, to the Partizans in Yugoslavia, to North Africa, the Russian Front, the Warsaw Uprisings, to the Resistance Groups all over Europe, to every Man and Women who said “Fuck You!” to Hitler and supported through their Clerk Jobs and Nursing and Driving Trucks and making Firearms and Bombers and Subs, all to eliminate that Scourge of Humanity, we ALL owe a Huge Debt of Gratitude, no matter what Country they came from.
And there’s NOTHING any Political Hack who never put on a Uniform sitting over there in 2014 giving Speeches that can come even close to the Honor those who fought and bled and those who didn’t live long enough to become Veterans EARNED through their Time in Hell.
With one exception.
During WW2, King George of England was urged by the British Government to get his Family to safety in Canada. He said No, he would NOT put his Family in Safety when so many of his Subjects were In Harm’s Way. So his Daughters, Elizabeth and Anne grew up during the Battle of Britain, and the Blitz and all the other things that were happening in England. And when they were Teenagers in the later part of the War, they put on the Motor Transport Service Uniform, and drove Ambulances of Wounded from the Docks to the Hospitals. They didn’t HAVE to, they VOLUNTEERED to do their part. Small roles in the Big Picture, true, but they did what they could. And I’m sure there were a few Tommys who were shocked to discover that their Future Queen was helping them with their injuries. So, as far as I’m concerned, Queen Elizabeth and Princess Anne get a pass.
But Obama, Merkel, Hollande, Cameron, PUTIN? How many of them put on their Nation’s Uniform when they had a chance? And being a KGB Colonel doesn’t count.
So, to all those who Served during WW2, no matter what they did or where they did it, as long as they were fighting the Axis, two words:
BRAVO ZULU. Bubblehead Les Out.
P.S. : I wish to Honor my Relatives who served in WW2 and made it home. To the memory of my Uncle Paul Nagy, Jr., Combat Engineer, wounded in the Battle of the Bulge, and my Father-in-Law, Clifford V. Walsh, 10th Mountain Division, ITALIAN Campaign. Neither one ever claimed to be a Hero. They knew that the Heroes of WW2 never became Veterans. “To Absent Friends.”