Welcome to Day 3 of LibertyNation’s exclusive series covering President Donald Trump’s historic visit to the United Kingdom, covering the politics, the media, and the inside track on the president’s first official state visit to the junior partner in the Special Relationship. On Day 1, we set out the backdrop to this momentous visit; on Day 2, we dove into who is behind the protests that took place. This morning we examined the fallout from yesterday’s protests and the meetings attended by President Trump.
President Trump’s U.K. extravaganza is over, and all that remains is the screeching of the perpetually offended in the biased media. Yet today’s ceremonies were of a different nature. They were not protests, nor were they recriminations; they were a moving and special commemoration to mark tomorrow’s 75th Anniversary of the D-Day landings.
The president, Melania Trump, Queen Elizabeth II, and Prince Charles attended the commemoration ceremony in Portsmouth, which was filled with first-hand accounts, stories of courage and terror, and music. Also attending were President Macron of France and the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.
The Queen spoke of the “heroism, courage, and sacrifice, of those who lost their lives.” On behalf of “the country and the whole free world,” she thanked those who gave all to fight for our lives and our futures.
A Moment of History
Speeches were, of course, delivered, but far from being the typical point-scoring operation by politicians, the language was measured and respectful – almost encased in an aura of sadness. President Macron read out loud the final letter of a 16-year-old resistance fighter, Henri Fertet, who was executed shortly after writing it:
“My dear parents, I am going to die for my country. I want France to be free and the French to be happy.
The soldiers are coming to get me. I must hurry. My handwriting may look wobbly, but it is just because I am using a small pencil. I am not afraid of death; my conscience is completely clear … A thousand kisses. Long live France.”
British Prime Minister Theresa May read a letter from Captain Norman Skinner of the Royal Army Service Corps. The letter was in his pocket and written on the fourth of June, 1944, and addressed to his wife, Gladys, and their two daughters. Captain Skinner died shortly after landing on Sword Beach. The letter said:
“My thoughts at this moment, in this lovely Saturday afternoon, are with you all now. I can imagine you in the garden having tea with Janey and Anne getting ready to put them to bed. Although I would give anything to be back with you, I have not yet had any wish at all to back down from the job we have to do.
There is so much that I would like to be able to tell you. Nearly all of which you’ve heard many, many times. But just to say that I mean it even more today. I’m sure that I will be with you again soon and for good. Please give my fondest love to my Anne and my Janey. God bless and keep you all safe for me.”
President Trump took the opportunity not to talk of himself or his policies, but rather to mark the occasion with dignity and pride. He decided to read out the very prayer that Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke on the radio during the Normandy landings.
“Almighty God: Our sons, pride of our nation, this day have set upon a mighty endeavor, a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.
They will need Thy blessings, for the enemy is strong. He may hurl back our forces. But we shall return again and again.
And we know that by thy grace and the righteousness of our cause our sons will triumph. Some will never return. Embrace these, Father, and receive them, Thy heroic servants, into Thy kingdom.
And, O Lord, give us faith. Give us faith in Thee; faith in our sons; faith in each other; faith in our united crusade.
Thy will be done Almighty God,
Remember the Past, Hope for the Future
After the ceremony, the president and the Queen met with veterans of the landings, including men and women who were actually there. Far from being the typical meet and greet, this was a chance for world leaders to converse, and ask questions of those who have witnessed a history few of us today can scarce imagine.
While it will be a significant moment for the veterans to meet the special guests, perhaps it will also be a significant moment for the royal family and the politicians to learn about one of history’s most important moments from those who helped shape it. And that can only be a good thing.
I’ll leave the last word to Sergeant John Jenkins, now 99 years old, who landed on Gold Beach on June 8, 1944: “You never forget your comrades because we were all in it together … It is right that the courage and sacrifice of so many is being honored 75 years on. We must never forget.”
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