I was present at the Normandy landings. Four days later we picked up a body out of the water off Omaha beach. When we found it was a German airman, to my lasting shame, we put it back in the water. I don't doubt that most, if not all, the Allied dead were recovered and given decent burials after the landings, but whether that German pilot was I have never known and often wondered. He has always stood for me as a sign of man's (in this case, mine and my fellow seamen's) inhumanity to man and the unity of us all, whatever our nation, in death. We should commemorate these things together in reaffirmation that 'never again . . .'
19 AprilReuse content