Patterico's Pontifications


Not Remembering D-Day

Filed under: Obama — DRJ @ 8:54 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

I started today with a post entitled Remembering D-Day so I’ll end it by noting President Obama and the White House apparently did not remember D-Day — because I can’t find any mention of D-Day at his official website or in Politico’s coverage of his activities today.

How odd.

Last year on the 65th Anniversary of D-Day, President Obama went to Normandy and spoke about D-Day’s importance then and for the future. Here is an excerpt from his 2009 D-Day remarks, just 365 days ago:

I’m not the first American President to come and mark this anniversary, and I likely will not be the last. This is an event that has long brought to this coast both heads of state and grateful citizens; veterans and their loved ones; the liberated and their liberators. It’s been written about and spoken of and depicted in countless books and films and speeches. And long after our time on this Earth has passed, one word will still bring forth the pride and awe of men and women who will never meet the heroes who sit before us: D-Day.

Why is this? Of all the battles in all the wars across the span of human history, why does this day hold such a revered place in our memory? What is it about the struggle that took place on the sands a few short steps from here that brings us back to remember year after year after year?
But despite all the years of planning and preparation, despite the inspiration of our leaders, the skill of our generals, the strength of our firepower and the unyielding support from our home front, the outcome of the entire struggle would ultimately rest on the success of one day in June.

Lyndon Johnson once said that there are certain moments when “history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man’s unending search for freedom.”

D-Day was such a moment. One newspaper noted that “we have come to the hour for which we were born.” Had the Allies failed here, Hitler’s occupation of this continent might have continued indefinitely. Instead, victory here secured a foothold in France. It opened a path to Berlin. It made possible the achievements that followed the liberation of Europe: the Marshall Plan, the NATO alliance, the shared prosperity and security that flowed from each.

It was unknowable then, but so much of the progress that would define the 20th century, on both sides of the Atlantic, came down to the battle for a slice of beach only six miles long and two miles wide.”

Speaking before French President Sarkozy and other foreign dignitaries, President Obama concluded his 2009 speech with the admonition that we should never forget D-Day:

“I know this trip doesn’t get any easier as the years pass, but for those of you who make it, there’s nothing that could keep you away. One such veteran, a man named Jim Norene, was a member of the 502nd Parachute Infantry Division of the 101st Airborne. Last night, after visiting this cemetery for one last time, he passed away in his sleep. Jim was gravely ill when he left his home, and he knew that he might not return. But just as he did 65 years ago, he came anyway. May he now rest in peace with the boys he once bled with, and may his family always find solace in the heroism he showed here.

In the end, Jim Norene came back to Normandy for the same reason we all come back. He came for the reason articulated by Howard Huebner, another former paratrooper who is here with us today. When asked why he made the trip, Howard said, “It’s important that we tell our stories. It doesn’t have to be something big; just a little story about what happened — so people don’t forget.”

So people don’t forget.

Friends and veterans, we cannot forget. What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and the selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century. At an hour of maximum danger, amid the bleakest of circumstances, men who thought themselves ordinary found within themselves the ability to do something extraordinary. They fought for their moms and sweethearts back home, for the fellow warriors they came to know as brothers. And they fought out of a simple sense of duty — a duty sustained by the same ideals for which their countrymen had once fought and bled for over two centuries.”

Until today, that is. Unless President Obama remembered D-Day at his Ford Theatre appearance tonight, an appearance that will be telecast in July in celebration of our nation’s independence, then it seems he forgot about D-Day this year.

H/T Dana.


13 Responses to “Not Remembering D-Day”

  1. More evidence of Obama’s ignorance about the military. The 502 was a parachute regiment and the 101 was a division. Only two and a half more years.

    Mike K (82f374)

  2. Unless President Obama remembered D-Day at his Ford Theatre appearance tonight

    it is cruel to throw out such tempting bait…..

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  3. It’s not a matter of Obama remembering or not remembering. He only reads the words that someone puts in front of him, either on a sheet of paper or on his teleprompter. Since no one in his brain trust remembered to jot down something about D-Day today, it never crossed Dear Leader’s mind. Obama’s historical memory (which has been demonstrated to be virtually nil, except for where grievances against America are concerned) doesn’t come into play at all here.

    JVW (36eb17)

  4. despite all the desperate propaganda to the contrary, i believe slow-joe would be an improvement over Ear Leader, simply because no one could float the lie about how “awesome” he is, as they have with the First Failure.

    however, i will have to say that, so far, Barry is the best Kenyan President ever….

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  5. Bet he remembers March 9, May 8 and August 17. All important Indonesian dates.

    cedarhill (bad8ce)

  6. I wouldn’t expect him to remember. Why would he? It’s not a great day in Union history, or even Socialist history.

    Vivian Louise (643333)

  7. It’s not a matter of Obama remembering or not remembering. He only reads the words that someone puts in front of him, either on a sheet of paper or on his teleprompter.

    JVW, you hit it on the head. I expect Obama to take corrective and decisive action and fire his teleprompter. The message will not be lost on Geitner or Holder that they could be next.

    MU789 (175287)

  8. To remember D-Day is to remember the reason for D-Day.
    To remember the reason for D-Day is to remember the Nazi’s.
    To remember the Nazis is to remember the Holocaust.
    To remember the Holocaust is to remember “Never Again”.
    To remember “Never Again” is very inconvenient when the world is on the way to “Doing It Again”.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  9. Mmm, maybe the secret service took away his blackberry and that is why he can’t remember these things. Sigh.


    Harsh, but maybe correct.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  10. MD

    Actually, MD, a quibble. Our soldiers braved those guns not to stop the holocaust, but to protect us from a growing danger, and to liberate europe. most americans back then didn’t even understand the holocaust was happening and probably wouldn’t have realized it was a bad thing until the camps were liberated. it pains me to say it, but its true.

    Which doesn’t mean your analysis is completely off the mark. While we fought the nazis for the reasons outlined above, the reason why we thank God they were defeated today, is precisely because of the holocaust. its anachronistic, but its the way we think.

    Aaron Worthing (e7d72e)

  11. Aaron, I agree that your quibble is absolutely correct. I believe that whatever rumours some people may have heard of the atrocities that were taking place had a hard time believing them, in part because we don’t want to have to face that kind of reality.

    I think it’s the same kind of reasoning that many people couldn’t wrap their heads around the idea that Saddam was a cruel madman who could have “rape rooms” and feed political prisoners to meat grinders. It was far easier to say that “we are the problem, and if we would just stop it everything would be OK”. I think the bigger analysis would be that Hussein had proven to be a regional tyrant that was not going to stop as long as he was in power, and to continue to appease him was like appeasing Hitler, especially as when the appeasement started the German army was no where near as powerful as it would become.

    Just as we continue to do with Iran. Too many people think that Iran is just posturing when they say they want to destroy Israel (just as Hitler had written what he had wanted to do, but people thought it was “too crazy”). I’m sure there are many Iranian people, maybe even a majority, that have no interest in annihilating Israel, but those are not the ones in power.

    So, we appease Iran while their weaponry leaves them vulnerable, and the current trajectory is that the world as a whole will continue to appease Iran until their military is strong enough (with atomic bombs and long-range missiles) that to confront them will be very costly, far more costly had they been dealt with sooner.

    We all know the saying that to not know history is to be doomed to repeat it. Apparently the word “know” in English is not an adequate expression, for though many are cognitively aware of history, we often do not “know” it well enough to recognize it when it stands up and slaps us in the face.

    MD in Philly (5a98ff)

  12. testing

    enoch_root (9548cd)

  13. When it come to Teh Won, function follows form . . .

    . . . “one” and he’s done.

    Icy Texan (6c54f2)

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