Seventy-five years ago today, British soldiers were fighting and dying in the Normandy landings.
I was sitting up in my pram, oblivious of the great drama. But this was a genuine people’s war.
Every family had a personal stake in the long, exhausting battle to defeat Nazi tyranny.
My father was in the RAF in the Middle East, my uncle Bob was flying tailgunner in Lancasters, my guardsman uncle Jack was invalided out after Dunkirk. Even my teenage auntie Barbara was in the services.
The British people shed blood to liberate Europe. We went to them in their hour of need.
They should now repay that sacrifice, by coming to us in our hour of need, enabling us to withdraw from the EU with dignity, friendship and close trading links.
Arrogant President Macron and mighty Chancellor Merkel owe the freedom their nations enjoy today to the Tommies who gave their tomorrows. They should remember that and act accordingly.
More than a million American servicemen joined the invasion of France, many giving their lives far from home for a free Europe. Their sacrifice is rightly remembered alongside our own.
But it was galling to see President Trump, the Vietnam War draft-dodger, basking in publicity for the anniversary celebrations, with his piggy eyes on re-election to the White House next year.
If “the Donald” had been around in 1944, no doubt he would have found pressing business on the golf course, as he did in the 1960s.
Normandy 75 brought out the best of Britain. The Trump trip brought out some of
the worst. It has been a good week to
be British, a difficult week to be a friend of the USA.
Even so, the behaviour of some of Jeremy Corbyn’s supporters in the Whitehall demo was unacceptable. Shouting “Nazi scum!” in the faces of American tourists diminishes legitimate protest.
It’s a relief the whole thing is over. The politicians can now get on with sorting out big issues like the social care crisis and the slow death of the car industry. But don’t hold your breath.
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