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D-Day's Going to Be a Bit Awkward This Year
Foreign Policy ^ | JUNE 5, 2014 | ROBERT ZARETSKY

Posted on 06/06/2014 1:33:01 PM PDT by nickcarraway

Why the memory of the liberation of Europe is still a battlefield.

War is politics by other means and so is its commemoration. World leaders will gather on the beaches of Normandy on June 6 to mark the 70th anniversary of D-Day and they will bring their political and historic baggage with them. Though the Battle of Normandy is over, the war over its significance continues and the day's events will represent the latest in a long series of conflicts over the ever-shifting meaning of one of the most decisive days in modern European history.

Among the presidents, prime ministers, and chancellors in attendance, only the group's lone constitutional monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, is old enough to remember the war. The other leaders will probably experience a certain kind of nostalgia for an age when choices were clear and wars were good. But clarity and goodness are as much inventions of each nation's postwar narrative as they were part of the actual past.

There is no single history of D-Day. There are, instead, only histories that vary from nation to nation and era to era, histories sculpted by changing political priorities and cultural concerns. Both as individuals and nations, we remember the pasts we choose to remember. All told, it is a pretty parochial exercise. And as the authors of the recent book D-Day in History and Memory suggest, "national parochialisms are shaped by transnational imperatives."

For many Europeans, perhaps no great power has been more parochial than the United States. But American parochialism has universal ambitions. Hardly had Europe been liberated from Nazi Germany before the American government began public commemoration. With the consent of the Élyseé, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) took control of strategic sites along the Normandy coast. And when the Normandy American Cemetery was inaugurated

(Excerpt) Read more at foreignpolicy.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
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1 posted on 06/06/2014 1:33:01 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: nickcarraway

They invited Putin because he is only one with experience invading another country.


2 posted on 06/06/2014 1:39:36 PM PDT by MinstrelBoy (If you're a conservative today, you're a hero.)
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To: nickcarraway

All my uncles that served in Europe are gone ,, Army.

May their footprints in fighting to free the world from tyranny..

Never be erased from the sandy beaches of time or our hearts and memories.


3 posted on 06/06/2014 1:43:02 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Nicely said, NormsRevenge.


4 posted on 06/06/2014 1:46:58 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: MinstrelBoy
They could have invited George W. Bush.

Or John F. Kerry--he invaded Cambodia in December 1968, on Nixon's orders, you know.

5 posted on 06/06/2014 1:50:15 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: MinstrelBoy
They could have invited George W. Bush.

Or John F. Kerry--he invaded Cambodia in December 1968, on Nixon's orders, you know.

6 posted on 06/06/2014 1:50:15 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: nickcarraway
For a history professor he doesn't seem to have a great grasp of the history and treats as fresh analysis banalities that have been known for years.

Yes, we Americans know that Stalingrad was the decisive battle in the European war. But we're still going to celebrate D-Day anyway. Deal with it.

7 posted on 06/06/2014 1:56:53 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: Verginius Rufus

Well Bush senior was in the Pacific. But still ...... better than Clinton who did that walk on the sand and made a cross out of pebbles that aren’t found on the beach. They were handed to him by his staff and he “walked alone in contemplation and made that cross” big phoney.


8 posted on 06/06/2014 2:00:44 PM PDT by SkyDancer (If you don't read the newspapers you are uninformed. If you do read newspapers you are misinformed)
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To: colorado tanker

I’ve often thought of how long the USSR could have held out had America not provided food, fuel, armaments, munitions, etc.


9 posted on 06/06/2014 2:19:39 PM PDT by mrmeyer (You can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him. – Robert Heinlein)
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To: colorado tanker

Besides the Soviets started the war along with the Nazis.


10 posted on 06/06/2014 2:20:48 PM PDT by dfwgator
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To: nickcarraway

I saw a photo today of an old man in civilian clothes talking to some American GIs in Europe, and an odd thought struck me.

If one was ever going to play a fake warrior, now would be the time for an old American (or British, etc) man to enjoy a couple of weeks in Europe, with a collection of war stories to share, depending on which city or country he was in.


11 posted on 06/06/2014 2:25:10 PM PDT by ansel12 ((Ted Cruz and Mike Lee-both of whom sit on the Senate Judiciary Comm as Ginsberg's importance fades)
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To: nickcarraway

IBTZ


12 posted on 06/06/2014 2:28:04 PM PDT by <1/1,000,000th%
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To: dfwgator; mrmeyer
Exactly. Uncle Joe sent Hitler congratulations on his defeat of France and looked forward to the early defeat of the UK. Excuse us if we don't jump when you demand it.

The Sov's got a huge amount of "lend-lease" material and since they weren't giving us any leases that meant free. Most of the Red Army's truck fleet was built by Studebaker.

Marshall wanted to go striaght to a French invasion. The Brits talked us into doing North Africa and thank God they did. We were not ready for prime time and working the problems in North Africa and Sicily got us ready for the big show.

Plus, it became apparent as 1943 progressed that even though America was working miracles we were not going to have sufficient forces, landing craft or equipment to do the cross-channel invasion until 1944.

13 posted on 06/06/2014 2:51:16 PM PDT by colorado tanker
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To: nickcarraway

Hardly had Europe been liberated from Nazi Germany before the American government began public commemoration. With the consent of the Élyseé, the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) took control of strategic sites along the Normandy coast.

To the Victor go the spoils......


14 posted on 06/06/2014 3:20:18 PM PDT by SECURE AMERICA (I am an American - Not a Republican or a Democrat.)
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To: mrmeyer

They may have been able to hold a line at roughly the Ural mountains.


15 posted on 06/06/2014 3:48:44 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: DuncanWaring
They may have been able to hold a line at roughly the Ural mountains.

It was common knowledge that the communist party would have ditched Stalin if Moscow fell. Even so, he had a train waiting to leave the city if the Germans broke through. It was a close-run thing.

16 posted on 06/06/2014 4:24:06 PM PDT by Rinnwald
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To: nickcarraway

I just recently learned that the number of German graves in that vicinity of France outnumber the allied graves.

I don’t understand why the celebrations don’t cover the valiant German defense of the country, against the indiscriminate allies whose bombings killed military and civilian alike.

Sorry, didn’t mean to upset anyone. Just applying a little liberal logic on the Crusades to WWII.


17 posted on 06/06/2014 4:33:33 PM PDT by Rinnwald
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To: rlmorel

Thanks, my dad was flat footed and a farmer, already had 6 kids, soo.. Most of the local healthy guys went to war. Somewhere. Only 1 local from our immediate neighborhood was lost.

As a kid , I always looked for graves that had military notations. But for them..


18 posted on 06/06/2014 4:51:17 PM PDT by NormsRevenge (Semper Fi - Revolution is a'brewin!!!)
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To: NormsRevenge

Ah! We had six kids too...:)


19 posted on 06/06/2014 8:32:17 PM PDT by rlmorel ("A nation, despicable by it"s weakness, forfeits even the privilege of being neutral." A. Hamilton)
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To: Rinnwald

“Sorry, didn’t mean to upset anyone. Just applying a little liberal logic on the Crusades to WWII.”

I’ve often wondered what ceremonies occur for the hundreds of Americans killed by the French in North Africa during Operation Torch (the Allied invasion of French North Africa).


20 posted on 06/07/2014 4:09:25 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: kearnyirish2

Probably the same ceremonies the British hold for French dead at Mers El Kebir. Some things we just want to sweep under the rug.


21 posted on 06/07/2014 9:26:42 AM PDT by Rinnwald
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To: Rinnwald

“Probably the same ceremonies the British hold for French dead at Mers El Kebir. Some things we just want to sweep under the rug.”

Yes, it makes a better story that way.

I wonder what people will say 50 years from now about the midnight retreat from Iraq (and whatever menas we use to extricate ourselves from Afghanistan). They’ll probably just decribe Bush II starting our involvement and leave it at that; can’t have the Nobel Peace Prize winner’s troop surge and eventual retreat on the record.


22 posted on 06/07/2014 9:32:28 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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