Still remember The Day? D-Day?

In a couple of hours, it is going to be precisely seventy years from the moment when “Tony Burgess took one in the face.” Seventy years since Lieutenant Meehan‘s plane got shot down with most of the leading crew of E company on board. Seventy years since “Popeye” Wynn got shot in his ass. Seventy years since brave men embarked on the longest journey. In some twelve hours, thousands of men will breathe for the last time on the sandy beaches of Normandy. Explosions, screaming, the smell of death. Until that one bullet and then… quiet. Peace. Tide will come, washing over dead bodies and wounded men left behind. Fog will cover the place under its veil. Immense feel of gratitude and respect will hover in the air over the vast fields of white crosses.

Seventy years have passed since the D-Day. World has changed since then. Borders have changed, political pendulums have swinged, memories started to fade away. Veterans came of age and set off for the last journey. I would like to think that we are carrying on the values embedded in their legacy. However, I cannot. Memories disappear rather quickly. Have we forgotten what happens when, facing difficult times, we opt for the radical, extremist people? I would like to believe that change starts everyday with the first look in the mirror. The good spirit of hope and hard work becomes rooted there and spreads throughout the day. I would like to believe that the venomous gossip and whining could finally disappear.

Change won‘t come from up-to-down direction. It has to be the other way around. This means that electing extremist people, no matter their promises, will change nothing. We, the way we interact with each other, how we treat others and ourselves in every day conduct… Starting with one person at a time and carrying on – this, and only this, can spark up the revolution. No, I don‘t mean any coup d‘etat. I mean general healing process the mankind has to undergo. There is no way around it. Either we heal, or we will face an enormous blow up. Check the latest news. World is already boiling.

Tomorrow morning, make your bed when you wake up. Look at the face in the mirror. Remember all of the people who paid the ultimate price on the altar of freedom. Can you look into your eyes without flinching? No? Start with one thing to change. One inch at a time.

Let‘s make the world a better place. Let‘s carry on the legacy. Let us prevent them from having died in vain.

Now I know this sounds a bit too idealistic and it probably is. I‘m not sure I like it. BUT – Harry Welsh himself saved his reserve parachute on D-Day, hoping to get a wedding dress made out of it for his fiance. Guess what, he survived and she wore it on their wedding day.

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About Petr Klíma