The Fight for Freedom

                                                      (Allied forces in a landing craft, 6th June 1944)

It’s 75 years tomorrow when allied forces landed in the vast beaches of Normandy, France. Several European nations came together after Germany occupied France. These brave soldiers waged a decisive battle against Adolf Hitler and his German forces entrenched in occupied France, and their bravery finally fostered peace in Europe, and the rest of the world.

Whether we have been able to achieve enduring world-wide peace is still up for discussion at a later date, but the Allied forces put an end to the gory adventures of Adolf Hitler, and many of us live in relative peace today. The fight for freedom was encapsulated in a moving speech by William Churchill on May 18 1944, he said:

‘’We have before us an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We have before us many, many long months of struggle and of suffering. You ask, what is our policy? I will say: It is to wage war, by sea, land, and air, with all our might and with all the strength that God can give us; to wage war against a monstrous tyranny never surpassed in the dark, lamentable catalogue of human crime. That is our policy. You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word: It is victory, victory at all costs, victory despite all terror, victory, however long and hard the road may be.’’

The United Kingdom, under the leadership of William Churchill, joined the rest of Allied forces to fight against a force so brutal it is intent on the total annihilation of several nations of the world. The Allied forces worked towards the goal of defeating the enemy on 6th June 1944.

They are our heroes.

The world is not totally at peace, but what we have today is a luxury we can only dream of if Adolf Hitler’s dream to rule the whole world was realised.

Let us rejoice today, and hopefully, the coming days will see a more peaceful world free from slavery, racism, poverty, murders, hatred, and petty human emotions that inhibit living peaceful lives.

NP: I haven’t been able to update my website due to health issues, work commitments, and postgraduate studies. I have respite for a few months and would endeavour to post more articles and would also visit many blogs as much as I can.

Much love, always. 🙂

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They Shall Not Age…

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Seventy years ago, Allied troops landed in Normandy, trying to recapture France from the Nazis. It was emotional watching real footage of the historic event and Laurence Binyon’s poem ‘For The Fallen’ came to mind. I watched open-mouthed as those young soldiers fought bravely and died so we could be free. I wish history would not repeat itself… There shouldn’t be any more wars, or murders or shedding of innocent blood. How I wish the world is a paradise!

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With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

For The Fallen By Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)

For The Fallen was first published in the Times on September 21 1914. Laurence Binyon (1869-1943) wrote it while working at the British Museum, and did not go to the western front until 1916, as a Red Cross orderly. The poem’s fourth verse is now used all over the world during services of remembrance, and is inscribed on countless war monuments.

NP: This was originally published by ‘The Guardian’ Friday 14 November 2008.

Have a peaceful weekend my friends!

Much love, always.

Seyi David.