Questionable Intentions of D-Day Celebrations

Many D-Day celebrations have already occurred with the seventieth anniversary of the event just around the corner, and they are by no means over yet. The true question that has arisen, however, is whether or not these remembrances are performed with honest intentions. In fact, it is starting to appear to many that the true intention of many D-Day celebrations may be based more on conformity and money-making than anything else.

The Normandy landings were a horrific experience to be certain. Many sacrificed their lives, and those who survived often did so at the expense of a great deal of survivor guilt. It is no surprise that these brave men would be honored, but the nature of many D-Day celebrations seems to be based on their ability to draw crowds. These crowds usually bring along a great deal of money, and live commemoration ceremonies often take place in something akin to a street festival. Some are starting to question if this is the best way to honor thousands of deaths.

There appears to be an air of conformity involved in the whole ordeal. Because the invasion was waged on such a spectacular scale, and its remembrance is such a big deal, anyone not taking part in the D-Day celebrations runs the risk of sticking out like a sore thumb. In this spirit, the Toronto Blue Jays have worn camouflage hats and several television networks are airing specials dedicated to the landings.

This demonstrates that the problem is not just in the money to be made, but in the reputations to be upheld. The History Channel has focused more on pawn shops and swamp people for years, but a few weeks before the D-Day celebrations they started airing history again. This is not a problem, but politicians using the event to elevate their status is more troubling. Some have speculated that Vladimir Putin is only showing his face out of deference to the G7 (who recently kicked him out), and that Barack Obama is simply diverting attention away from the current criticism of the United States Veterans’ Administration, the CBC Radio reports.

If these beliefs on the nature of the D-Day celebrations are to be believed, the ultimate conclusion is that the soldiers who actually sacrificed their lives are getting the short end of the stick. They are simply being used to peddle political beliefs, and while some would argue that such an idea does not much change their job description, others would claim that it spits in the face of everything they stand for. Hopefully, the rush to conform or make a quick buck will not detract too strongly from what the D-Day celebrations are supposed to be about, which is solemn remembrance of those who gave all for what they believed.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE