Happy liberation anniversary, Paris!

Old Aug 25th, 2004, 10:58 AM
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My Dad, who was just 18 when WW II ended and therefore not involved in combat, had a very moving experience in France on this day 10 years ago.

He and my step-mom were in a little village near Normandy and wandered into a small bistro. When the patron, a guy a few years older than my dad, realized they were Americans, he put on an old scratchy recording of "The Star Spangled Banner" and kissed my Dad on both cheeks with tears in his eyes.

"Thank you, thank you all Americans," he kept saying.

The French people I have met who lived through the occupation are unanimous in their gratitude to all the people who helped in the liberation - Americans, Brits, Canadians, Australians, and their own Free French. It is a day for celebration.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:20 AM
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awwww, this is bringing tears to my eyes.

I remember seeing various plaques around Paris, commemorating the fallen on August 25, 1944.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:26 AM
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I get a newsletter each day from France- realestate but alwyays interesting. They are showing "Is Paris Burning" on a huge screen on City Hall this evening. I also copiedan article from SFGate.com titled "Liberating France Hemingway's Way- following author's 1944 reclaiming of the Ritz Hotel. You may all find it interesting. Just remember that the Greatest Generation was not just composed of Americans.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:50 AM
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atlcity and others:

Just to put things in perspective. Not willing to belittle *anyones* contribution, consider these figures:

Americans killed in europe during world war II: 174'000

Frenchmen killed in europe during world war II: soldiers, 250'000; civilians 350'000

British subjects killed in europe during world war II: soldiers 326'000, civilians 62'000

And, in western media rarely mentionned and almost never honoured:

People of the USSR: soldiers 13'600'000, civilians 7'000'000

Whoever utters the kind of condescending rubbish, as you do in your post, shows he has not understood what one of the great American Generals, U.S. Grant, has said:

"War is Hell".
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 11:54 AM
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actually Phil, I even read somewhere that 29 million Russians died. 50 million plus total for WWII. the mind boggles.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 12:51 PM
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Phil:It's obvious you don't have a clue about the point I was making.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:09 PM
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atlcity:

Your point was clear enough. You just don't like it challenged.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:28 PM
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My statement is a historical fact,what is there to challenge.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:30 PM
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<i>let's at least recognise that this is the one day when France celebrates the lives that the French resistance sacrificed in the Paris uprising</i>

Kate, this isn't about Paris but it's related. One of our networks (NBC, I think) had a great show back around D-Day about U.S. paratroopers who had been dropped behind Nazi lines in Normandy, with many of them dropping far from where they were supposed to land. This show focused on one group in particular, who ended up near a small village, the name of which I unfortunately forget. A lot of the paratroopers had lost their weapons in fields that the Nazis had flooded so one young French farm girl rowed a boat out, at risk to her life, to retrieve as many weapons as they could. Other citizens sheltered the Americans or helped them in other ways.

A large force of Nazis eventually chased the Americans from this town and took terrible retribution on the citizens for helping the Americans, including burning down the church and killing the priests as well as many other townspeople.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 01:50 PM
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atlcity:

You stated a fact (even if your formulation might imply that US soldiers were guilty of killing millions of french collaborators).

But you stated *selectively*, and that's my point!

It is similar to saying &quot;Stalin was president of the USSR&quot; without adding that he was a bloodthirsty tyrant.
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Old Aug 25th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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How could a U.S. soldier be &quot;GUILTY&quot; of killing a French collaborator?What are you talking about?
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