My mother-in-law, Linda, wrote an Op-ed piece on the lack of news coverage for D-Day’s remembrance. She writes,
How can we celebrate today’s sacrifices and deaths without reflecting on our history and the men [and women] who gave their lives so that we can march in protest, and celebrate our freedoms 76 years later?
Similar reactions from my neighbors appeared on NextDoor. I don’t watch television news (because it’s seldom just the news), but I also noticed an absence of coverage from print journalism.
Typically this anniversary receives “front-page” treatment. I presume with so much else is going on—The protests, The pandemic, The global economy, OPEC, et cetera. that producers and editors felt priorities lay elsewhere. That said, broadcasters have ample time, and newsrooms have infinite webpages to tell stories even if their promotion is brief against the flood of current events.
I know we’re dealing with a lot at the moment, but we must never forget the cost and lasting impact of war. While D-Day may have been a lifetime ago, we are still living in the world shaped mostly by its outcome—the beginning of the end of Nazi Germany and World War II. The cost of that battle was high, 10-15k soldiers (Allied and Nazi) died on that day. The intent is not to overshadow the events unfolding around us but to take time to remember the millions of people who gave their lives fighting to liberate occupied Democracies and protect the freedoms we still employ at home.
As Linda writes, “You will have no future if you forget your history!”
Speaking of the lingering cost of war, last week Jason Kottke shared the story of Irene Triplett, “The last person in America to collect a pension from the Civil War.” Until last week after she passed away, Irene received $73.13 per month from the Department of Veteran Affairs for her father’s participation as a U.S. soldier fighting against the Confederate Union.
Yes, I am referring to The American Civil War from Abraham Lincoln times. The one that started in 1861 and was the topic of Ken Burns breakaway pan-and-scan hit series on PBS. Think about this now; American taxpayers have been paying for a war that ended 155 years ago after the Union conceded defeat. It’s not the amount of Irene’s pension that is insane, but the reminder that the cost of war is far from over when the actual conflict stops.