Monday, June 2, 2014
The French interjection is appropriate to the news from the Hollande administration. D-Day approaches and throughout the world interest in commemoration remains high. Francois Hollande is not content to let the world's press work out a way to share the broadcast as they have with similar news events of world interest. Instead, he is treating the ceremony as though it were a sporting event. Two French broadcast networks have been provided exclusive rights to the international ceremony which will include participation by at least 18 heads of state. Those networks will charge a fee to global news providers for online streaming and live coverage of events. Evidently M. Hollande shares a very tin ear with our own President who had access to the memorials and cemeteries at Omaha Beach blocked during the government shut down last fall. On D-Day 156,000 Allied troops landed on the French beaches. Their heroic conquest of the beaches and bluffs led to the liberation of France, and ultimately to victory in the war with Germany. Over 4,000 died, the ultimate measure in service to the free world. 24 warships and 35 support craft were sunk. And now, on the 70th anniversary of this tremendous and successful thrust toward Berlin, the French government thinks little of those in the Allied nations who rightfully want guaranteed coverage of the commemoration. Mon Dieu, indeed.