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Sixty-five years ago [written 2009], in a brief lull between storms in a remarkably stormy June, even by the standards of Channel weather, the heirs of Harold and the kinsmen of the Conqueror came to Normandy. They were supported by the remnants of their first, North American, empire, the two great nations that they had planted in the New World in the time of Good Queen Bess and James 6th and 1st: the Americans, who had rebelled in the name of the rights of Englishmen, and the Canadians, who had stood loyal in the name of the Crown. … The honours of these regiments are ancient and moving: Minden and Malplaquet, Mysore, Badajoz, Waterloo, Inkerman, Gallipoli, the Somme, Imjin. None shines more brightly than Normandy 1944. The paths of glory may lead but to the grave; yet all, even golden boys and girls, must come to dust. It is a better path to the grave than any of the others, not because glory is something to seek, but because, not once or twice in our long island story, the way of duty has been the path to glory; and duty is to be done. …Let us now praise famous men, and our fathers that begat us.

G.M.W. Wemyss

#military-history #normandy #remembrance #second-world-war #men

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