Me, then and now
Many people watch D-Day ceremonies. Some of the brave, who were lucky to survive, share these ceremonies with us, aged, in wheelchairs, or supported by their siblings, children or relatives. I always wondered why the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, D.C. was erected before the World War II Memorial. Perhaps because of the collective guilt to erase the public perception that those who came back from Vietnam wounded but alive were considered less worthy, as that war had been made so unpopular, not in the least by the repulsive Hanoi Jane. But that Vietnam Memorial represents exactly the same spirit as the World War II memorial: it’s for those who died in the fight for liberty and the pursuit of happiness, the freedom of the human spirit and initiative as opposed to totalitarian might and communism.
I am not American, but I considered fighting communism in Asia as worthwhile as fighting Nazidom and Japanese imperialism during World War II. And what would have happened if the Allies had been unable to defeat the Nazis in Europe? Or if they had been unable to stop the Russians at the Berlin Wall? Would communism not have been all over Europe keeping it in a much broader grip of impoverished and mowed-down nations? Would the Jewish population still exist?
I was 8, playing some feeble notes on the piano at my piano teacher’s house when a man came in with an orange pamphlet (the color of the Dutch royalty) stating that the Allied Forces had invaded France at Normandy. I still feel her embrace, screaming, “Johnny, we are going to be free.” Well, that was June 6, 1944. It took a bitter year of bombs falling, Nazi cruelty, executions, razzias, the pursuit of Jews, a horrific hunger winter with deep-freezing temperatures and heavy snowfalls before the Allied forces finally reached us and chased the Nazis out the door on May 5, 1945.
German soldiers going home, defeated.
Today we commemorate the young and the brave who that last year fought their way through the foothills of the Ardennes, the battle of the Bulge, who died in the “Bridge too Far,” the failed attempt by General Montgomery to break through the Nazi lines in Arnhem at the Rhine, who struggled from Belgium to The Netherlands to lift us from five years of tyranny, fear, misery and murder.
This time, my piano teacher could embrace me for real. Her street hung out the red, white and blue flags and orange banners; stalls rose on the sidewalks with food dropped by allied bombers in the nearby tulip fields and meadows; people danced in the streets and embraced the dapper allied soldiers, Americans, Brits, and Canadians. Bands with trumpets and drums marched, making loud music, a festivity I will never forget. Our Royal family returned home from exile in Canada. No more fears of bombs dropping on or near our house, windows shattered, fighter planes soaring through the sky and downed in the nearby wood, eating tulip bread, nettles, or turnips. No more sirens in the night and friends being rounded up and taken away.
“Bombers” dropping food bags
You have to have lived through the opposite to feel what “liberty and the pursuit of happiness” really means. Personally, I find that a good deal of today’s politicians on the left in the West have forgotten what tyranny, communism and socialism, and lack of freedom represents. D-Day is a day to remember that freedom and the pursuit of happiness is a precious gift the brave and the young who fell for it handed us and we should treasure this gift to the fullest. Any doctrine of socialism, communism and totalitarian government runs counter that human right. Such doctrines are creeping back into our world and endanger our freedom-loving society and would destroy it again if not contained.
Marine Corps War Memorial (also called the Iwo Jima Memorial)D-Day is also to remember the Asian war and the terrible loss of American lives fighting for freedom over there.
Celebrations in Holland in May 1945, almost a year after D-Day.
I hope that today’s schools in the West teach the value of D-Day. But what one sees and hears in the media and on the streets, I’m not sure if our “millennials” and future leaders, and a good deal of today’s “loudspeakers,” acquire the wisdom of D-Day, or exude it to prevent that this awful history repeats itself. I want to be optimistic but I can’t say I am.
Kathryn from Omaha TV
Mars Man and Kathryn are enjoying sunny conversations on the beach at St. Maarten, away from it all, especially the cold.
Mars Man: I believe it’s Superbowl today.
Kathryn: Yeah, the most inflated show of the year.
Mars Man: I hear the former president is going nuts confined to his golf club on Hawai.
Kathryn: From our perspective, he was already going nuts in the White House from what he was saying.
Mars Man: They beheaded another guy, the beasts. They must have stolen those orange suits from the Dutch soccer team.
Kathryn: What we need is a guy like Eisenhower. Go in there with allied forces in a big way and wipe them off the earth.
Mars Man: It seems that Petraeus isn’t doing much about it either. I’d hoped that by now he would’ve pulverized them to pork stew.
Kathryn: They don’t eat pork over there.
Mars Man: What about that tape story that the Pentagon undermined Hillary on that Libya war? What with the White House listening-in device! Remember Obama saying that Muammar Gadaffi had to go? Like poor Hosni Mubarak? And what did we get in return? Four brave Americans dead and more of BHO’s cruel Muslim friends.
Kathryn: He says he will degrade them and ultimately destroy them. What does that mean, degrade? So far they’ve been upgrading each day. Ultimately means he leaves it on the plate of the next president. Who said Michelle was a good cook?
Mars Man: America is in deep dodo with this man. The chickens will come home to roost, like his master the reverend Jeremia Wright said when BHO sat in his pew but wasn’t listening.
Kathryn: We heard the new Congress is acting up. All democrats are wearing long johns. Reid fell so hard over all his lies he was shoveling out of his office that he broke his nose, blinded one eye, and had to get a face lift.
Mars Man: I heard it was O’Connell who’d punched him K.O. because he’d been so mean to him for six years.
Kathryn: We got the measles again in the US. Unidentified measles. Came with the illegal border crossers from those third world countries visiting Mickey Mouse in L.A. Ever had the measles?
Mars Man: We don’t have them on Mars. What do they look like, shrimps?
Kathryn: Like mosquito or ant bites all over your body.
Mar Man: Another good reason to keep you earthlings away from Mars. That last spaceship went to pieces again. If humans want to come to Mars, let them take Amtrak, but they may get stuck on the way.
Kathryn: See who’s coming. Old Dr. Kisshanger and Lu from Chinatown, both peacefully together on the beach. Hi Dr.Kisshanger, Lu, how are you?
Dr. Kisshanger: Fine, I’m still writing more memoirs. Our days were so much better than yours. May we sit down?
Lu: Great to see you. Even though we’d hoped you’d do better under Chinese colonial rule, it hasn’t got any better in Washington.
Kathryn: You taught them how to lie. For six years we haven’t heard anything but. What do you expect?
Dr. Kisshanger: He who turns oriental gets disoriented.
Mars Man: Lies in Washington are just the plain truth. If you told the opposite nobody would believe you.
Kathryn: Well, Dr. Kisshanger, what do you feel about today’s world?
Dr. Kisshanger: No see, no hear, no speak.
Mars Man: But that’s Chinese!
Lu: No sir! This is plain Shakespearian English. Besides, in China we no think either, just do.
Kathryn: What would you do, Lu, if they are going to behead a Chinese?
Lu: We’ll send them Chinese fruitcake with bomb mix. If not good enough, we drop them a million mad Chinese women. Guaranteed to work or your money back.
Kathryn: What about all this religious doublespeak, Dr. Kisshanger?
Dr. Kisshanger: He or she, who is without sin, throw the first stone. That’s why Obama doesn’t want to make war. Jeremiah told him so.
Mars Man: Do you believe that, Lu?
Lu: Dr. Kisshanger is without sin, as he came to China first. We Chinese don’t know what sin means. We’re Confuciused. Shall we have a glass of rum punch?
Lu calls a waiter, who brings them four glasses of pink fluid on the ruble, with a slice of lemon, a straw, and loaded with rum.
Lu: Cheers! Let’s drink on peace the Chinese way.
Mars Man, sipping: What’s that, Lu?
Lu: In five years, China will be omni powerful, and everybody on Earth will speak, read and write Mandarin, starting at Kindergarten, and be happy. That will shut up the Islamic Radical Extremists, as we rightly call them. Next step will be Mars.
Mars Man: Don’t count on it, Lu. Your hieroglyphs aren’t working in space. You’ll be even more Confuciused and get stuck on the moon.
Kathryn: Okay, guys! I’ll get us some Dutch oil balls. I hear they are good over here.
Lu: Oil balls? Here? Can’t be. China has imported all the oil there is.
Kathryn: It’s balls of dough fried in cooking oil, Lu. Like your good fortune cookies, but without your pin strips of Chinese Confuciun.
Lu: I’ll come with you and then confiscate the oil.
Kathryn: You can’t because you’ll create war with the French part of the island. They bathe in cooking oil. See you later.