Vandaag herdenken we zoals elk jaar op dit tijdstip de landing in Normandië in 1944. Ik kwam onlangs een mooi eerbetoon tegen van Hal Boyle (1911-1974), oorlogscorrespondent van Associated Press, dat ik hier graag overneem:
OMAHA BEACH, Normandy (AP) – It is D-Day plus five years, soldier, on this sandy coast where the world hinged on what you did.
Because you did well here your world at home is as good as it is and if it isn’t any better, why they’ll have to blame someone else. There are some things you can do with a gun and there are other things you can’t.
What’s it like here now, soldier, five years after you landed and put the first torch to Adolf Hitler’s Western Wall?
Well, the best answer might come from Pvt. Anthony R. Calif, or his neighbor, Pfc. Marvin C. Garness, or his neighbor, Lt. George W. Phillips, who has become a buddy of Staff Sgt. Miles S. Lewis.
They have all settled here together, and they are all quiet men.
But they wouldn’t be interested so much in telling you what it’s like now.
They’d rather ask you: ‘What’s it like now at home? And my folks – are they well and happy?’
For they came here to stay, silent citizens of a silent American city on foreign soil. They rest with 9,523 other soldiers in the U.S. military cemetery atop a high green hill overlooking Omaha Beach.