Letter: Over-wined, overcharged and over there

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The Independent Online
Sir: Commemoration, not celebration, must be the keynote of our respect and remembrance on D-Day 1994. Certainly, a jingoistic 'we won the war' should not be engendered for party political purposes.

Those who fought and died did so for their country, not for the government of the day. We were all young men, mostly politically naive. We believed that certain values we had been taught to uphold were to be defended at all costs. We did what we had to do in the call of duty. Such is the mark of a soldier and of the family of a soldier.

This is no less true of those who were fighting elsewhere: those who fought and those who died at Dunkirk, in the deserts of North Africa, in the Far East, Italy, Malta; on the high seas and in the air. None of us had anything to celebrate on 6 June 1944, we didn't even know if we would make it. We had a job to do, soon enough to celebrate when it was done.

I am fortunate in having got through. Doubly so in that my sons have kindly provided for my wife and I to be in Normandy in June where they, and my grandsons, will join us on the beach at Bernieres Sur Mer to pay tribute on 6 June. It is to all who suffered and died from 1939-45 in response to the 'call' that my thoughts will then turn.

Yours sincerely,


Margate, Kent