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70th Anniversary of D-Day Landing in Normandy, France

| by Victor Cherubim

( June 6, 2014, London, Sri Lanka Guardian) World leaders – Allied Heads of State of U.S. Britain, France, along with President Vladimir Putin of Russia and German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, and hundreds of the last surviving veterans of D-Day landings of World War II and visitors, will descend on Sword beach in Normandy on 6 June 2014.This is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy, which was one of the turning points in the war.

All eyes will be on these celebrations, as millions around the world, will also join in by satellite. Commemorations and festivities including firework displays, parties, parachute drops, military camps, open air concerts and much more will be there, to entertain the Heads of State, and the Veterans and thousands of visitors. The most honoured guests are Her Majesty, The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip, for a three day State visit to France, perhaps, to coincide with this commemoration.

Nations and people on both sides of the English Channel are commemorating D-Day, but Britain being an island, nation is celebrating it most, with fanfare at Portsmouth on the south coast.

Why D-Day?

The Second World War showed the resilience and spirit of Allied nations against the invaders. Now, as we approach the 75th anniversary of the start of the War in September this year, D-Day landing on 6 June 1944 at Normandy is a defining moment in history. Between 2500 and 4000 Allied troops are estimated to have died along with as many as 9000 Germans, when 156,000 Allied troops landed and captured Normandy.

Why is it so important for Britain?

No one in Britain will ever say, “We will surrender”. Winston Churchill said, “We will never surrender”. He went on to write “..... the only thing that ever really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril”. If Normandy fell to the Germans, Britain could well have fallen. It was a turbulent time in British history, but bravery, selflessness, “the upper lip” and resolve eventually, saw the British nation through. At one point the Allies were losing a ship every four hours, while German U-boat losses remained frustratingly low. It is history that as many as twenty seven merchant vessels were sunk in the battle.

What Putin said.......?

President Vladimir Putin, has been, perhaps, derisively compared to Hitler, for the escapade raging in Ukraine. Putin on Wednesday 4 June 2014 is alleged to have said “It is best not to argue with women, as he dismissed former US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton’s recent comments comparing Russia’s actions in Ukraine to Germany under Adolf Hitler in the 1930s.

Hilary Clinton, as everyone knows, is no soft number. She drew the parallel between Putin’s actions in Ukraine and Hitler’s Germany back in March this year after it is alleged Russia began distributing passports to Ukrainian citizens. It is what Hitler did back in the 30s, which involved the protection given to Germans outside the country’s borders in the run up to WWII.

“Weakness is not necessarily a fault for women”

As it were, to put Hilary Clinton in place, Putin is alleged to have said to reporters, “When people go beyond certain boundaries of politeness, it demonstrates their weakness;” adding “weakness is not necessarily a fault for a woman.” We will wait what Hilary has to say!

Unity in strength

Whatever anybody says, diplomatic divisions overshadow a united front. In the official photo opportunity with the leaders at Normandy today, President Putin was comfortable standing shoulder to shoulder with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and British Prime Minister, David Cameron. Germany is now Russia’s best friend and David Cameron is always in front to mediate between “so called enemies”. President Obama has preferred to distance himself from President Putin. Putin was a notable absentee at this week’s G7 summit. The story of leaders in the West is always clouded, one day they are the best of friends and another day they are enemies. Isolating Russia has happened previously.

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