EDITORIAL: D-Day sacrifices should stir concern today

Seventy-five years have passed since nearly 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy. The D-Day assault was the beginning of the end of the horror inflicted on the world by the fascist regimes of Europe.

Casualties were high that day and reached more than 10,000 including 1,074 of the 14,000 Canadians who stormed the beaches on D-Day.

By the time the Battle of Normandy ended, more than 5,000 Canadians had died. By the end of the war, that number had risen to more than 45,000 Canadians and hundreds of millions worldwide.

But despite the horrific human toll of D-Day, the passage of time has unquestionably dulled the memory of the sacrifices of who died and has caused some to question the relevance of the date to our lives today.

There are few veterans still alive after all, who can speak to that struggle, or remind us of why it was important.

It’s a situation that should not be allowed to stand.

It was George Santayana who said that those who can’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it, and even a cursory glance at world events today should be enough to frighten us all.

Nazism did not arrive in Germany overnight. Nor did Mussolini’s rise in Italy.

They were the face of insidious ideologies and beliefs that had their fans even in North America.

In 1939 a Nazi rally filled Massey Hall in Toronto and, that same year, New York’s Madison Square Garden saw 20,000 attendees carrying placards with George Washington flanked by swastikas.

It wasn’t easy, but in North America, society fought back against those extremist views.

In Europe, they were not so lucky. Fascism was the eventual outcome of decades of unchecked populist movements and the embrace of a mix of nationalist fears, international grievance, racism, misogyny, and tyranny masquerading as extreme law and order – the same sort of beliefs being propagated today by leaders of countries that once fought against those same stains on our humanity.

Our commemoration of D-Day in today’s paper is, of course, our way of honouring those who sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. But it’s also a call for everyone to learn the history of struggle and why those men were willing to die to protect our freedom. And it’s a call to remain vigilant against those who would undo that sacrifice.



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

New UVic student housing project before Saanich council tonight

Two new buildings would add almost 700 new student housing spaces

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read