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[英伦广角] 【整理】2009-06-07 政要云集 纪念诺曼底登陆65周年 (法国总统的求confirmation)

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Today, we commemorate the 65th anniversary of the D-Day landings that took place in the early morning hours of 6th June, 1944.  Today’s ceremony will honor the soldiers, sailors and airmen who made the supreme sacrifice so that Europe might be liberated.  Included among those so honored are the 3,881 who lost their lives on D-Day at Omaha Beach and the 9,387 among our dead who are buried at this cemetery.

Our gracious loving Father in Heaven, we ask for the blessing of your presence on this significant event that touches the life of the families and citizens of the grateful nations here represented.  Magnify yourself this day as we pause to XX remember those men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice for the freedom of France and the allied nations during the Second World War.

They numbered 135,000 and thousands of vessels. They formed two armies: one American, the other British and Canadian.  Some hours earlier Eisenhower had wished them: ‘Good luck!’ All were silent. What were those young soldiers thinking of? They stared at the thin black line of the coast emerging from the mist. What were they thinking of? Of the ode to brief life?  Of the way their mothers gently kissed their foreheads when they were children? Of the way their fathers held back for tears when they left for the war?  Of tears that will be shed on the land that has been abused?  What were those soldiers thinking of is the destiny of wars that would decide the fate of so many people. What were they thinking of, if not that "20 years old is too young to die"?

Sixty-five years ago, in the thin light of a great dawn, more than a thousand small craft took to a rough sea on the day that will be forever a day of bravery.  On that June morning, the young of our nations stepped out onto these beaches below and into history. And as long as freedom lives, their deeds will never die.  And now more than half century on, it is a honor for me to speak for the British people, alongside friends-President Sarkozy, President Obama, Prime Minister Harper and with His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales.  Each of us representing the peoples of our nations, as together we salute the brave fighting men of the largest amphibious operation in the Annals of warfare.  We remember those who advanced grain of sand by grain of sand, utterly determined amid the bullets and the bloodshed that freedom would not be pushed back into the sea but would rise from these beaches below to liberate a continent and to save a generation.

And long after our time on this earth has passed, one word will still bring forth the pride and awe of men and women will never meet the heroes who sit before us: D-Day. Why is this? Of all the battles in all the wars across the span of human history(简直就是‘北非谍影’里那句的翻版), why does this day hold such a revered place in our memory? What is it about the struggle that took place on the sands a few short steps from here that brings us back to remember year after year after year.  Part of it, I think, is the size of the odds that weighed against success. For three centuries, no invader had ever been able to cross the English Channel into Normandy. And it had never been more difficult than in 1944.
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