June 7, 2008
The D-Day story the MSM didn't tell again
Another D-Day anniversary has come and gone, and still the media won't report the news they don't want you to see.
I witnessed the invasion at Normandy on D-Day in 2004, on the 60th Anniversary. No doubt they were back there again this D-Day, as they are every year. But you didn't hear about it from the MSM. It doesn't fit their template of how the Europeans, particularly the French, don't respect the United States anymore.
By the thousands, they come. Like ghosts. Dressed in full, authentic World War II battle gear. Standing in small groups on the street corners of St. Mere Eglise, Carentan and the other town and villages near the coast there the British, Canadians and Americans came ashore in '44.
They carry M1's, BAR's, Thompson's and holstered 45's. All perfect replicas. Their uniforms display the patches of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions. The 29th and 4th Infantry Divisions. Canteens and ammo pouches and med pacs on their web gear. They wear their hair short. Some have their faces blackened. Several even have Mohawks.
They drive along the coast in long caravans of military vehicles. Willys jeeps by the hundreds, scores of 2 ½ ton trucks, armored cars, potable water trucks, mobile AA batteries, even a couple of grinding Sherman tanks. They bivouac in olive drab green tent cities. Big and small. Field kitchens smoking. They invade the Normandy area, everywhere.
Thousands of them. Standing in small groups, smoking cigarettes on the corners. I walk by slowly, eavesdropping on their conversations, expecting to hear the accents of New Jersey, Texas and Wisconsin. That's how authentic they look. Are they US soldiers stationed in Germany on leave? Who are they?
The language isn't American English. It's mostly French. That's right, French. And an occasional Brit, and a few from Belgium.
Each D-Day, thousands of invasion re-enactors gather all along the Normandy coast in full G.I. regalia and honor the greatest day of the Greatest Generation. For the unprepared, as I was, it's an astonishing display. Jeeps crowded with "G.I's," flying over-sized Stars-and-Stripes, cruising along the coast, in long conga lines of vehicles. Loud engines. They stay in character. Stern faces like men on a mission.
I saw this with my own eyes in 2004; otherwise I'd be skeptical. The MSM has repeatedly told us how we're hated in Europe. Not by these guys.
Later that day, back at the hotel where Hermann Göering once stayed, we watched CNN International broadcast the anniversary festivities. Christiane Amanpour was the color commentator. She missed no opportunity to bash Bush, who was there to speak at the American cemetery. She described the disdain that the French feel for the American president. She told the story of how the British struck the first blow on D-Day by dropping paratroopers at a bridge called Pegasus. Wrong. The British landed in gliders. She was such an embarrassment we called the CNN headquarters in Atlanta and left a voice mail.
Then there was that old woman -- 80 plus -- standing on a street corner in a village holding a handmade sign that read: "Thank You Americans for saving me and my family."
The man known as "Shifty" Powers from the TV series Band of Brothers was there. The real "Shifty," not the Hollywood one. He walked with us through St. Mere Eglise, his first time back since he parachuted into the town 60 years earlier. We asked where he landed, and he pointed out a spot in a nearby field. "Right about over there, I guess."
We asked, "What did you do next?" He said, in his West Virginia accent, "Don't rightly remember. There were a lot of guys trying to kill me after that. I do remember later that we broke into a small wine store down that street [he points] and tasted a few bottles till we found one we liked."
Many old and young French men and women in Normandy remember Shifty and the others like him, with appreciation. But don't expect to hear that story from your MSM outlet next year, either. Doesn't fit their template.