Better to remember lest we Forget

D-Day 70th Anniversary.

It is a good thing to demand liberty for ourselves and those who agree with us; it is a better and rarer thing to give it to others who do not agree with us.

Franklin D Roosevelt

I read the above quote in A.C. Graylings book “The Reason of Things.” It is a profound statement although it is perhaps significantly more complex than was meant.

I like millions of others was lucky enough to be born after the Second World War, when man’s inhumanity to man was over, at least on such a large scale.

The 70th anniversary memorial ceremony was extremely moving. In many ways it was a beautiful day set amidst the now calm setting of the Normandy beaches and almost impossible for us to imagine the carnage that once was.

D-Day is of course a military term meaning; the day on which combat or an operation will commence. Perhaps this could in future be used to mean, the day dialogue should commence and at the same time remind us of that significant alternative and all its consequences.

Again I quote from the referred to book in which Mr Grayling says “Western societies by their nature encompass a plurality of values. Most liberals have faith in the idea that tolerance and debate can resolve conflicts of values and bring about harmony. This is a legacy of Enlightenment attitudes, premised on the belief that because human beings everywhere have much in common, agreement about how to live in peace is possible.

I’d personally like to think that through the promotion of humanism this could one day perhaps in the main be achieved.

In the words of the Bard himself

“Then let us pray that come it may,
(As come it will for a’ that,)
That Sense and Worth, o’er a’ the earth,
Shall bear the gree, an’ a’ that.
For a’ that, an’ a’ that,
That man to man, the world o’er,
Shall brithers be for a’ that.”

Duncan Robertson