Covid kills everything. Even memory. Today, June 6, the seventy-seventh anniversary of Operation D – Day. After November 11, the most important anniversary on the British historical calendar. They dealt with the armored spine of Oberst von Oppeln – Bronikowski, and they did not cope with covid. On the “Gold” beach, more than a modest anniversary celebration with only the French Defense Minister Florence Parly (for the sake of linguistic correctness it was a former minister) and the British ambassador to Paris. For the sake of linguistic correctness á la GW it was an ambassador, not an embassy.
The first monument commemorating the British participation in Operation Overlord was unveiled in the presence of a modest British representation on the “Gold” beach. Incredibly, there was no monument in Normandy to commemorate the deaths of more than 22,000 British soldiers who died after the operation began.
” This is the only place with all the names, so it took a lot of research to find the 22,442 ”
All names are commemorated on stone tablets. It is memory – a human thing. One of the fallen the day before the invasion received a photo of a newborn daughter from his wife. War has that dimension as well. And above all, just like that. We live in happy times that we don’t respect
Around the 70th anniversary of Operation Overlord, I sailed to Havru and from there we drove to Omaha Beach and Falaise. Such a journey along the combat trail of the 1st Armored Division commanded by General Maczek. Checking if the Polish red and white is blowing under the skies of Normandy … and we checked.
It flutters proudly next to all the flags of the anti-German coalition countries. Good, memory is priceless. It determines our humanity to a large extent.
Under Falaise, I found all the landscapes that I found earlier in the booklet entitled “Maczuga”, read three decades earlier (probably the “Tiger’s library”?) on the Western Front. It was the same time of year and the same fields, the undulations under Falaise must have looked the same in the summer of 1944.
The same pictures were seen by Polish soldiers from Maczek. Young 24-26-year-old boys mobilized in September 1939, soldiers – wanderers.
At a distance of 15 km from Falaise, in the town of Grainville – Langannerie, there is the only Polish military cemetery. Over 600 soldiers of General Maczek who died at Falaise are buried in the cemetery. There are also the graves of Polish pilots, knocked down and killed over France, including grave of general – Stefan Pawlikowski pilot.
A very well-kept cemetery, administered by the mayor’s office in Grainville-Langannerie. It was only there that I encountered something that really touched me, gave me faith that not everyone who was brought up in the spirit of the new “patriotism” understood as paying taxes and providing hot water in the tap, understood patriotism as such.
For them, patriotism is more than just paying taxes: it is respect and memory for those who fought for Poland, wanted a free Poland wherever they were thrown by the war. In the cemetery, right next to the entrance, there is a small house, opened and closed every day by a person from the mayor’s office. There is a solid safe in the building and a bulky memorial book that is kept daily by the administrator of the cemetery.
When I signed in, I found an entry, maybe two or three hours ahead of me, an entry by a young man from near Krosno. Grandson of a soldier mobilized in 1939.
– Grandpa, I did not know you, you were not present in my life, but I thank you for being there.
Source: Salon24.pl: Strona główna by www.salon24.pl.
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