Letter: Portsmouth remembers D-Day

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The Independent Online
Sir: Where there is celebration, let there be whinging and sanctimonious cant.

'The Church of England is best placed to lead (D-Day commemoration activities)', says your leading article (19 April). Really]

Have we who were alive then forgotten that there were service deaths also on VE Day and VJ Day? On 6 June 1944, there was general exhilaration that, although Rome had just fallen, Normandy was the first massive opportunity for the West to move towards victory in contintental Europe.

Of course, there should be recognition of the pain and sacrifice on 6 June, but why not celebration of the incredible achievement? Even a street party, if someone wants one.

Let there be commemoration and celebration, too, on the 50th anniversary of VE and VJ days, with Germans and Japanese included. No vainglory, but an acknowlegement of human endeavour in one of the few justifiable wars, and with the slim hope that, through publicity, youth can learn something of human aspiration and co-operative success through balanced history.

Yours faithfully,

PETER LEEDS

London, SW3

20 April

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