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First blog for a while, so back to my thoughts on a day that should be prominent in most European minds, yes D Day!
My eulogy is of course about my eldest brother who was born on the sixth of June 1944, he would have been seventy two if he had survived the cancer that took him just six years ago.
He was head of the family when my father died in 1985 aged 63.
But so much of my family's history is from the direct result of the second world war.
It has to, my father died because of complications of his double malaria from his tour of duty in Burma, as part of the chindits division that took part in late 1944.
Luckily he survived the behind the Japanese lines and the jungle and of course the malaria, but so many British forces in that war zone didnt!
An uncle of mine took part in the D Day landings. I never met him. But it just shows how links to the past and present through family come around!
I digress, my brother was a great role model for all of us and a big influence in my outlook on life and of course sport. Happy birthday bruv, wherever you are!
Anyway, what has all this to do with the present.
Well, seventy two years ago the landings along with other military operations turned the tide of war against the fascist dictatorship that nearly threatened the whole of the world.
Wars were common in Europe in the twentieth century and for ever before.
Like a lot of people, I lost and never met family members because of the wars, who died because of it.
The powers that be after the war finished decided if ever the European countries wanted peace and to turn away from conflict then we had to come together to form a European club of sorts as trade, democracy, freedom of speech and human rights as the overwhelming basis to form a European zone of trading nations.
At the time of joining, we needed Europe, as they needed us. Because the country had ruined itself economically because of the cost of the war.
We didn't have an empire as such no more, as our now commonwealth partners wanted independence from our rule, one after another gained independence.
It suited the politics of a conservative government then to join the common market, it made economic sense.
But even being in that club, didn't stop the wars and the strife throughout Europe especially what was known as the Soviet bloc of countries. It is only a generation ago that the USSR became so many different countries and the likes of Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and so on were given their own democracies to rule themselves instead of Moscow.
Also when Yugoslavia burst into fire trying to kill each other with ethnic cleansing and the fatalities of war and what man will do to man for power and religion. This was only in the nineties, how many of our soldiers were caught up in that?
And of course, the reunification of Germany, the Berlin wall coming down and the people were celebrating the yolk of communist dictatorship finally being resolved. A sense of freedom and liberation flooded Europe.
I spent time in Berlin during the period of Russian power and I remember the bomb drills and the threat of annihilation from nuclear weapons. I saw for myself what an occupied country looks like. The Russians parading in front of the West Berliners, showing their might, with a city behind a wall preventing families being together. And having other democratic countries help in feeding the people trapped behind that wall.
I saw a Couple of armed bases in Berlin and all the military materiel that goes into a war zone, I saw people haunted by the effect of division and the fear of what war would do again to them.
A brighter future for all the European nations were assured because of the European Union.
So, now, because of a conservative pre election pledge to have a referendum on Europe, all of a sudden the memory of a war torn Europe has disappeared and dissipated in the minds of people.
A lot of right wing political groups want our country to be a separatist nation from our neighbours, we don't need them no more, it seems! We don't need trading partners, they will still trade with us, our economy is strong enough, our right to control people and especially foreigners is one of the most important arguments, well most right wing parties will say that, pick on one group, who for some reason are different than or a different religion, it doesn't matter whether they are women and children or disabled, homeless, have nowhere to go and why do they want to come here. It doesn't matter how many die trying, and they need to go anywhere but here!
Why can't they go back home?
Sorry, it just bothers me greatly, that these so called democratic politicians are allowed to get away with spouting absolute garbage.
My eulogy ends with, we need a strong Europe, we need each other like never before, France, Belgium are going through what we went through from the IRA, and without American and European help, would the troubles have been resolved?
We need to remain in the European zone, because we need to secure democracy through the euro zone and I fear a right wing conservative country getting their hands on power, it's bad enough with a liberal conservative government!
So, please for the lives that fought for a free Europe in all the European wars that have decimated the continent more times than I can remember, please vote remain! We need a strong unified Europe, let's change it for the better from within, we can't change it not being in it!
For me it's not about anything except security!
Ive seen too much and lost too many friends and relatives to war and the consequences of warfare.
I hate politics!
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