It’s wonderful to see France honoring all those who served during the Normandy invasion, but this old veteran says it’s too little, too late. Yes, over the years they have paid tribute to Normandy veterans, but the tribute faded as do all our anniversaries concerning wars. What about Korea and Vietnam, along with Iraq and Afghanistan?

People don’t think much about the collateral damage to towns and cities under attack by our forces, in some cases whole towns and the people in them. Many civilians may be thankful for their liberation, but still feel hostility toward those who maimed them during the conflict. Some people living in the former Confederate states still have anger toward us northern Yankees.

One German immigrant living in Augusta related how, on her family’s farm far from any city, an American bomber came in low and used their “German” cows and sheep for target practice.

I was stationed in Europe in 1949, five years after the war ended, when I and some other soldiers entered a local bar in France. All of us were in uniform. We no sooner took off our hats than all the men and women in the bar started singing: “It wasn’t the Yanks that won the war, parley vous.” Embarrassed, we donned our hats and left as gentlemen.

This is what war does to everyone, and unless we stop the carnage people caught up in it will continue to hate the aggressors, even though their attacks are well-intentioned.

Frank Slason


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