Monday, June 6, 2011

D-Day, 67 Years Later

With NATO engaged in a half-hearted effort to take down a relatively lame dictator, today's D-Day anniversary reminds us that the guys back then paid a huge price so that we can be far less committed today.  Um, that is perhaps not the right lesson of D-Day, but it is one lesson.

The other thought that has occupied me today on the anniversary of the Day of Days is that this is the first one without Dick Winters, the leader of the Band of Brothers.  He is just one of the many folks who made such a difference who are passing from the scene.  The good news is that we will still have some of these guys for a while longer--the last vets from World War I recently died.  The bad news is that we are losing folks who knew what it mean to sacrifice it all for their buddies and beyond.  We still have those folks around today, as we have seen a Nepali get a medal from the Queen and Obama honoring of a living Congressional Medal of Honor winner.  But as a country, we refuse to raise taxes to pay for these wars, making our children pay not just in debt payments but in declining government support for education and other programs.  We did far better sixty years ago with the investments made in education and elsewhere.

Where is our Marshall Plan?  Oh yeah, tied up in Congress.  Still, we must remember that we had common cause in 1944, and perhaps it is a sign of progress that no threats today are so great as to provide us much glue today.

So a very ambivalent D-Day anniversary, I guess.

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