Home Page

carol gould

Join our email list for updates.




We hope that you'll feel our website is worthy enough to contribute a few pounds to the bandwidth bills.



Remembering D-Day
Last uploaded : Friday 6th Jun 2008 at 04:47
Contributed by : Carol Gould


News D-Day 2008 : An American in London
This article also appeared in
New Media Journal US


5th June 2008

This evening, as I began to prepare for bed, I looked at the calendar in my bathroom and realised it was the dawn of D-Day. I am an insomniac and the birds were already singing when I put my trash outside the front door for the Friday collection.

Because I did not have a ‘Yahrzeit’ candle, used by Jews to commemorate the anniversary of the loss of a loved one, I decided to light a large scented candle to commemorate those young men who, this evening in 1944, would have been praying or smoking or quaking with insomnia and writing what they knew would be their last letter home.

Going outside to put my trash bag on the pavement, I heard pop music playing softly in one of the flats in my block. In this street are many successful and happy individuals and families who I doubt, as they venture out tomorrow, will have the slightest idea it is the sixty-fourth anniversary of the crucial landings on the beaches of Normandy. I doubt they will realise this day forever marks the threshold of civilisation rescued by Eisenhower, Patton, Bradley and Montgomery set against the very real possibility of descending into the Valhalla of the Thousand Year Reich.

I went inside and stood for a moment with my hands clenched. I closed my eyes and prayed for the souls of the young men from my street who may have been sent out to fight on D-Day. It sent a chill through me: someone in this very block of flats may have been sitting shaking with fear sixty-four years ago as he watched the dawn break in Portsmouth Harbour. This could have been his last channel crossing, but if he had luck on his side he might have made it to France only to be killed in the horrendous push inland, or in Operation Market Garden, or in the Hertgen Forest.

How deeply ingrained in my late mother’s memory was the sight of thousands of young men leaving Camp Pickett, Virginia, where she was stationed as a WAC (Women’s Army Corps) , these lads only to die a few weeks later on Omaha Beach. She received parcels in the weeks after D-Day from GIs sending her tins of tuna and items for their parents in towns with names like Bassett, Nebraska and Perkasie, Pennsylvania and Hopatcong, New Jersey; they said they knew they would never come home and their folks needed these precious things more than they did.

She also lamented the segregation of the troops and the label 'waccoon' attached to the black WACs by some of the white personnel. Now here we are in 2008 with a black candidate for the White House. Those same GIs saved the world so these miracles could unfold in my lifetime.

Four years ago I went with a group of British and American veterans to Normandy to commemorate the sixtieth anniversary of the D-Day landings. On the special train coach in the fog and cold on the way from Paris to Normandy were hundreds of veterans and their families, but one could hear a pin drop. The men with their hearing aids and worn canes and wispy white hair sat deep in contemplation; I could barely imagine the horrors conjured up by this journey and the sorrow they had carried with them for six decades.

Many of these frail men, some in their eighties, had never been back since 1944 and wept quietly as they found the gravestones of their buddies, whose dreams had been frozen forever on that French shore in Nazi-occupied Europe. On that day of my pilgrimage in 2004 Presidents Chirac and Bush gave moving speeches and several British and American veterans stood at attention by the battery units as the twenty-one-gun salute boomed across the countryside. Travelling around the remote farmland one saw endless little Union Jacks and American flags outside cottages and one was keenly aware that these tattered emblems may have survived from VE-Day itself in 1945.

Perhaps I am feeling D-Day so very deeply this year because of the relentless battering Jews, Zionists and Americans like myself have taken on the chin in Britain this year. Whether it is crowds at London's Stamford Bridge shouting ugly epithets at Israeli football coach Avram Grant or the Muslim Public Affairs Council UK obsessing about anything and everything Jewish or Israeli, or the Guardian running daily attacks on America and Israel, I feel especially in the firing line.

Last year I visited Madingley Cemetery, a graveyard in Cambridge of 3,800 American airmen with a wall commemorating an additional 5,100 American pilots and coastguardmen who disappeared or died protecting Britain’s shores. At Duxford airbase there is a plaque commemorating the lives of 30,000 American pilots who died during the Second World War. What I noticed at Madingley was the large number of Stars of David in the cemetery. These Jewish pilots came from every corner of America. They died defending a country that now spends an inordinate amount of time writing about ‘Lord Cashpoint’ Levy and about the ‘Undertaker’ Avram Grant, notwithstanding the world knowing that his father had buried his sister and mother with his bare hands at Auschwitz.

It is now almost dawn of June 6th. I cannot sleep and the light is clearly visible behind my curtains. The birdsong is sweet. No doubt today in my native USA the television networks will remember the men who fell in that terrible carnage in Normandy, but I doubt the British networks will even remember it. Last November I attended a conference in Newcastle that happened to take place over Remembrance weekend. One of the conference speakers, an Anglo-Muslim activist, said she had to make it clear to this audience that she regarded the pilots of wartime in as negative a light as the audience might view a suicide bomber who had strapped himself with explosives.

I could barely contain myself. I pointed out to her that had those young British and American pilots not succeeded, Hitler would have taken over the world and she would most likely not have been here today.

Lest any of us forget the sacrifice made by the men and women of D-Day as we scurry around ASDA let us stop for a moment to remember and thank them for the plenty we enjoy today in this green and pleasant land of freedom and democracy.
Carol Gould is the author of ‘Spitfire Girls’ (Black Ace Books 1998/ Random House 2009) and of ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ ( Social Affairs Unit/Encounter 2008). She is also a political commentator on Sky News.


Read more Editorials    go >>



Web Design - Web Designers
© current viewpoint .com

All Rights reserved.
No copying of any text or images allowed in any form digitally or otherwise,
without the prior written consent of the copyright holders.