I found this article on the BBC a few days ago, about how the narrative of D-Day as a great success often fails to consider the stories of those who suffered as a result of the invasion. The author points out that this should not diminish from the importance of D-Day in defeating tyranny and bringing peace to Europe, but that if we ignore these sobering narratives, we not only deny the people who tell them the right to voice, but we also deny ourselves the right to fully understand our own history; our own story. This is a reminder of the fact that nothing is ever simple, but it also reminded me in many ways of what The Advocacy Project and Survivor Corps are trying to do; no matter how far a groups’ narrative deviates from the national ‘story’, people have a right to a voice, and a right to have their needs and their story taken into consideration. No-one should have to feel guilt for expressing their story and the troubles they have faced, and helping groups whose narratives are in some way marginalised is what we are trying to do.
Posted By Laura Gordon
Posted Jun 11th, 2009
June 22, 2009
The example of D Day as an event when only a few have their story told is topical and a useful comparator for westerners. It brngs to my mind your uncle Raymond, then aged 16, who went shopping with his Dad in Caen a few weeks before D-Day. The USAAF bombed the city (typically, they did this from a great height, and as a result people on the ground couldn’t hear the planes or know they were there until the world fell apart). Raymond woke up in hospital two days later; his father was dead – not sure they ever found the body – he was now the head of the household, and quit school to go to work to support his mother and kid brother. Literally tens of thousands of French civilians were killed in the pre-D Day bombing, but they are almost forgotten….