Just got this e-mail from a reader in Italy. Thought I’d share:
This is the text annotating a photo of British paratroopers before the D-Day in 1944; I found it in a web site of Time mag celebrating history and real life of the veterans from the Easy Company (which was featured in the HBO Band of Brothers):
The British paratroopers shown here were among the first to fly from England to France on D-Day, June 6, 1944. Despite careful planning, the D-Day jumps turned out to be chaotic due to fog: most of the men did not land where they expected to, and many lost their weapons in the drop.
These few lines made me pausing and reflecting. First of all, it seems to me that what prevents us from labelling D-Day as a complete military disaster is the heroism and the bravery of those guys: their most important day begun with fear, confusion and death, but ended in victory. When we look at the faded pictures taken by Robert Capa (brave father of all embedded!), we know it was a really bad day, a day with an unbearable human toll, but we can feel proud of, and thankful for what those guys accomplished.
And then, comparing this glorious past with the attitude most of the media are showing regarding Operation Iraqi Freedom, a question hit me: what would have they said were they present at D-Day? Would have they called it a big mistake, the proof of the incompetence of Eisenhower and the evidence of the weakness of the Allied forces? Imagine the long list of armchair generals, questioning each detail and assuring us all about incoming disasters…
What I’d want to tell the media is: trust our troops, trust Gen. Franks and everyone over there, and let them do their job, they know what to do. But we at home have a task, too: and our task is to never forget the courage of our servicemen and servicewomen: their hearts and minds make a difference, their hearts and minds will lead us (and us all: Americans, British, decent Iraqis, and the civilized world) to victory.
Thank you for the Corner: it’s a way to stay connected with the guys and gals out there, to fight along with them all…