The Fight for History by Tim Cook

The Fight for History by Tim Cook

Author:Tim Cook [Cook, Tim]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Penguin Canada
Published: 2020-09-08T00:00:00+00:00

The French authorities enforced strict security for the world’s leaders during the ceremonies, to the point that most of the veterans were kept back from the beaches by the Gendarmerie police force. Those who had fought for freedom and watched their comrades die were now shunted aside as apparently unwanted and peripheral spectators. RCAF veteran Norman Shannon spoke angrily about the D-Day commemoration, which he said “generated more media hype than the original landings.” Shannon raged that the “free-loading dignitaries and officials shoved the veterans so far back they couldn’t see the wreath-laying at Beny-sur-Mer.”32 Throughout the spectacle, the mob of television, radio, and print journalists—estimated at 2,000—raced about, trying to capture the best images. Angry veterans nearly stormed the beaches again, especially when their view of the Queen was blocked by legions of photographers, some of whom trampled flowers or propped themselves against headstones in the war cemeteries to steady their shots.33 “Move back, you media bastards,” came the shouts from the veterans.34 Many of the local French officials were so disgusted with the ill-treatment of the veterans that invitations were hastily extended to the Canadians or anyone wearing a maple leaf to visit their villages for impromptu celebrations. As the mayor of Tilly commented to one Canadian journalist, “In all this chaos, people seem to forget that it’s not the chiefs of state we are honoring, it is the men who fought here.”35


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