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Remembering D-Day

This morning we left the comfort of our ship early to drive to Normandy’s landing beaches of Omaha, Juno and Gold. An emotional day awaited us that led to amazing conversations and sharing of life stories across nationalities and backgrounds. Viking Cruises outdid themselves with this intimate, appropriately balanced ceremony honoring the fallen & the living service members that graced our presence at the American Cemetery.

Heroic efforts against all odds are what makes my adopted homeland so unique. Standing here at the epicenter of Europe’s liberation 75 years ago put a lot of things in perspective. I hope that sharing stories of what this experience was all about helps future generations understand that “war”is not the answer. Ll I ask you to do is to watch a documentary movie “the longest day” to witness the unbelievable efforts the men and women of the allies undertook to make today possible for all of us.

Given the current climate of distrust and misinformation propagated (we all know by now) by Russian trolls it is up to each and everyone of us to uphold the principles and values our ancestors fought for. Life, Happiness and Liberty for all is the creed to uphold.

While I dont want this to be about politics, I would be untrue to myself not to express my dismay at the thought of “agent orange” representing our country this coming June to honor the fallen at the 75 year anniversary of the liberation. These men and women deserve better to be respected and honored by someone that genuinely cares.

All of us need to remember the choice we were faced with, live under a dictatorship of tyranny or live free. The town of Artomanches in Normandy will tell you the latter is key.

In my view, Trump represents a threat to our own core values – he is lying and distorting thruths for his own enrichment and he is denigrating our country in favor of Russian and other despots. My very own grandparents were caught on the wrong side of history and I cannot fathom the thought of another world war as a result of heeding the wrong call.

if you have not done so, i invite you to come to Normandy and witness the bravery, ingenuity and grit the Western allies displayed in 1944 to rally and defeat a despotic regime. Ask yourself, what would we do if faced with this choice tomorrow?

The panorama of Omaha beach as a backdrop, I can only see complacency and cynicism instread of resolve, compassion and a fostering of togetherness. I do believe that what unites us is still far stronger than what divides us but each and every one of us has to be willing to speak the truth and find common ground. That is what we all did today – people from all walks of life – came together to honor our past and share our stories.

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