Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Reflecting on the lessons of D-Day

“D-Day is an important time to honor those from the past who bravely fought for freedom. But it can also be a time to assess and reflect on the lessons it might hold.”
Today marks the 73rd anniversary of the D-Day invasion, the largest seaborne assault in world history. On June 6, 1944, Allied troops stormed the beaches of Normandy and turned the tide of World War II. We commemorate and honor those brave soldiers who sacrificed all to put an end to the evil of the day...

It's worth reflecting on the lessons of such bravery and sacrifice in the face of extraordinary peril, particularly as we currently confront the evils of our day. And former Marine and military historian Morgan Deane does just that...
OpsLens: Military historian Victor David Hanson wondered if the Xbox generation could storm the beaches of Normandy like their grandparents did. With tweets that massacre the English language and an unhealthy obsession with the Kardashians, those fears seem grounded. But historical memory of the current generation often looks on the past with rose colored glasses while thinking that their young people are uniquely positioned to herald the end of the world. The current soldiers serving around the world have shown they are capable of difficult feats and great deeds to the point that Americans shouldn’t compare their soldiers to the greatest generation and fear.

The matters of policy are different. The reaction to the most recent terror attack is simply the last in a long line of events. London Bridge, Manchester, Paris, Nice, San Bernardino, Orlando…the list goes on and on about events, yet there is little actual discussion of solid measures to prevent these attacks. These attacks happen with such frequency and Ground Hog Day like repetition I’ve thought about simply recycling old pieces about the need for productive dialogue.

Because of political correctness many politicians often fear instituting measures that will target likely terrorist groups. (Hint: They tend to share certain religious and ethnic features.) The politicians squabble and try to score short term political points against each other. British politicians debate the number of police on the streets while anybody who advocates anti-extremist measures is called a bigot.

Trump makes a valid point about the need for extreme vetting of immigrants, and most of the media would rather cover his twitter feud with the London mayor. In short, I’m extremely concerned that the nations which launched the D-Day invasion, Britain, Canada, and America, no longer have the will to make and execute very hard decisions. Eisenhower was prepared to accept blame for the slaughter of thousands of soldiers, while modern politicians flinch at being called a bad name.

D-Day is an important time to honor those from the past who bravely fought for freedom. But it can also be a time to assess and reflect on the lessons it might hold. Our soldiers remain brave, but the politicians who formulate anti-terrorism policies are much less so.
It may not be nice or neat to address (nor offensive to do so), but the heroes we honor today didn't sacrifice all for the same Allied nations to then hand over each of their assimilated cultural identities 73 years later to the throes of invasion, balkanization, indoctrination or terror, either foreign or domestic. Speaking for Americans as a fourth generation citizen (that's post-Civil War for those keeping up), it's time to lift the fantasy-laden veil of what melting pot actually means (hint: it's not anyone, anywhere, no questions asked; it's about liberty, contribution, virtuous citizenship, E pluribus unum!).

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