Wednesday, June 06, 2007


It is somehow fitting that, while we celebrate the 40th anniversary of the 6-Day War, we should also note in passing the 63rd year since the invasion of France on 6 June 1944. But for a quirk of the weather, it would of course have been the day before, in which case we would have been celebrating both anniversaries together.

Anyhow, it gives me an opportunity to post one of my all-time favourite historical photographs, this one from the US National Archives. Oddly, although it must be one of the American beaches, it is not identified in the caption. My money is on Omaha.

It would be otiose for me to add anything to the millions of words that must have been written about this event, as indeed I felt more constrained than my colleague in writing anything original about the 6-Day War. Both, in their own ways, were unique events. The world will never see the like of either of them again.

That, in itself, gives one pause for thought, especially viewed against the pretensions of the latter-day "Europeans" and their ambitions for a "European defence identity". They should remind themselves - frequently - that their current prosperity and freedom rests with the endeavours of those on this day, who gave their lives. And, it cannot be said to often, many of them were American.


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