« La France n’oubliera jamais le sacrifice de vos enfants », insisté le président français, Nicolas Sarkozy

La France n'oubliera jamais, a assuré Nicolas Sarkozy, "la jeunesse héroïque" venue de Grande-Bretagne, des États-Unis et du Canada qui "dort à présent pour l'éternité dans cette terre qui n'était pas la sienne, mais sur laquelle elle pressentait que se jouait une part de la destinée commune à tous les hommes". Channel=Politique -- La Tribune FR

Avons-nous oublié la France ???
What do you think ?

The Battle of Midway: June 4-6, 1942 -- http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/events/wwii-pac/midway/midway.htm See also http://www.aspecialdayguide.com/yorktown/index.htm. Two years later Allied forces would be in the final stages of preparation for their assault along the Normandy coast of France:

Avons-nous oublié 
oublié la France ?

"The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right; faith that they fought for all humanity; faith that a just God would grant them {His} mercy on this beachhead, or on the next. It was the deep knowledge -- and pray God that we have not lost it -- that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest." R. Reagan (June 6, 1984)

http://www.ddaymuseum.org/index.html
http://www.americandday.org/
http://www.dday.org/

http://www.6juin1944.com/ -- Great Pictures {click: L'Espace Historique}
http://www.Normandy1944.info/ -- A great Website that continues to attract more and more people.

". . . we trust in the words of the Almighty God, which are inscribed in the chapel nearby: 'I give unto them eternal life, that they shall never perish . . . .' [Je leur donne la vie éternelle; et elles ne périront jamais, et personne ne les ravira de ma main. {Jean 10:28}]" http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/05/20020527-1.html

"Les hommes de la Normandie ont eu la foi que ce qu'elles faisaient était justifié; la foi qu'ils ont combattue pour toute l'humanité; la foi que Dieu juste leur accorderait à pitié {de Sien} sur ce «beachhead» ou sur le prochain. C'était la connaissance profonde -- et priez Dieu que nous ne l'avons pas perdue -- qu'il y a une différence profonde et morale entre l'utilisation de la force pour la libération et l'utilisation de la force pour la conquête." R. Reagan (6 Juin 1984)

Poem by Mary E. Frye
http://www.6juin1944.com/cimetier/index.html
Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning hush,
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die. (1932)
Ne tenez et sanglotez pas sur ma tombe
Je me trouve là pas,  je ne dors pas.
Je suis mille vents qui soufflent
Je suis le étincellement des diamants sur neige.
Je suis ce faisceau lumineux lors du blé mûri
Je suis une pluie douce d'automne.
Quand vous vous réveillez est matin se tait,
Je suis l'envol vif-argent
D'oiseaux silencieux qui tourbillonnent
Je suis l'étoile tendre qui scintille dans la nuit.
Ne venez et pleurez pas sur ma tombe
Je ne suis pas là,  je ne suis pas mort.

Apparently, there are other (and longer) French versions of this poem, always attributed to Native Americans as a prayer (author always unknown). But I did not use them, nor was I aware of them -- although the words are pretty close -- when I prepared my poem in French from the English. See for example: http://www.unisson06.org/dossiers/art_spiritualite/poesie_monde/poeme_amerindien.htm, http://lagentiane.org/textes/text-0010.htm, http://aujardindelamitie.com/ChapelleDuJardin/MenuSpiritualite/Recueil/PriereIndienne/priere_indienne.htm et http://perso.wanadoo.fr/chezlouis/page38.htm

The longer version has a different emphasis in the first portion as compared to the concluding verses, and I quess one could find the full work in English, if one tried looking in a book (if it was truely just one poem); but, on the World Wide Web, it is nowhere to be found (2006). What follows is the first portion, this time translated from the French to the English -- in my view, worth some study in French, because the English (stand-alone) version of this section differs somewhat from the French:

Quand je ne serai plus là, lâchez-moi !
Laissez-moi partir
Car j'ai tellement de choses à faire et à voir !
Ne pleurez pas en pensant à moi !
Soyez reconnaissants pour les belles années
Pendant lesquelles je vous ai donné mon amour !
Vous ne pouvez que deviner
Le bonheur que vous m'avez apporté !

Je vous remercie pour l'amour que chacun m'a démontré !
Maintenant, il est temps pour moi de voyager seul.
Pendant un court moment vous pouvez avoir de la peine.
La confiance vous apportera réconfort et consolation.
Nous ne serons séparés que pour quelques temps !

Laissez les souvenirs apaiser votre douleur !
Je ne suis pas loin et la vie continue !
Si vous en avez besoin, appelez-moi et je viendrai !
Même si vous ne pouvez me voir ou me toucher
Je sera là,
Et si vous écoutez votre cœur, vous sentirez clairement
La douceur de l'amour que j'apporterai !
Quand il sera temps pour vous de partir,
Je serai là pour vous accueillir,
Absent de mon corps, présent avec Dieu !
When I am not there any more, release me!
Let me depart
Because I have so much to do and see !
Do not weep when you remember me !
Recognize the good years [we shared]
During which I gave you my love !
You can't [begin to] grasp
The happiness that you brought to me !

I thank each of you for the love shown me !
Now, it is time for my soul to travel alone.
While for a short time you will have sorrow.
You carry Confidence to comfort and console.
We are not separated for all times !

Let memories relieve your pain !
I am not so very far [away] and and life continues !
If you have need, call me and I will return !
Even if you cannot see me or touch me,
I will be there,
And, if you listen to your heart, you will clearly discern,
The gentle love I carry [for you] !
When it is time for you to leave,
I will be there to help,
Absent from my body, present with God !

I have found the first portion with a slightly different ending in many places, see: http://www.harlansmemorial.homestead.com/Poetry.html -- Memorial Poems (towards the bottom). On that page and everywhere else on the Web it is known by the title To Those I Love and Those Who Love Me, written by anon, except at http://www.abbottandhast.com/treasures.html where it is attributable to Darrell Ward, the former owner of Smith’s Mortuary in Huntington Beach, California (no date given) -- something I doubt.

Bottom line, if you care for my opinion, is that two seperate poems were put together, and translated freely into French, though I rather enjoy the sound of the français composition. One might buy the story that originally some portion of the French version was a translation of an older Native American tongue; however, the first and last portions do not directly match in style or thought. Older Native cultures did not have a gravesite memorials, where people went to visit (second part). Also,the Biblical allusions throughout both sections are in my view, too strong to be simply coincidental with Native beliefs. In any event at least part of the poem in English is attributable to a real person, Mary E. Frye, from a time certain -- The history of this poem by Mary E. (Elizabeth) Frye can be found at the following website: http://www.businessballs.com/donotstandatmygraveandweep.htm. The obituary for Mary E. Frye of Dundalk, Md. is at: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,60-1344731,00.html -- She died on September 15, 2004, at age 98.

"6 june 1944 -- We don't forget: Thank you from Belgian people for rescue of Europa. We are grateful about this gift of all soldiers of US and GB. My father was prisonner and made 7 evasions from deutsch camps. Thank you to transmit my friendship to the veterans and family and others Sorry about my english knowledge -- Sincerely your's, Best regards" -- Pierre Degardin 6/04/04

Sta niet bij mijn graf en huil,
Ik ben er niet, ik slaap niet.
Ik ben duizend winden die blazen
Ik ben de diamant die glittert op de sneeuw,
Ik ben de zon op rijpende graan
Ik ben de zachte herfstregen
Wanneer je wakker wordt in de stilte van de ochtend,
dan ben ik de snelle opstijgende vlucht
van stille vogels in rond licht
Ik ben de zachte ster die schijnt in de nacht
Sta niet bij mijn graf en huil,
Ik ben er niet, Ik stierf niet.
found this translation from 2002 in 2010
  Ikke stå ved min grav og gråt
Jeg er ikke der, jeg sover ikke.
Jeg er tusen vinder som blåser
Jeg er diamanten glimt på snø.
Jeg er sollyset på modnet korn
Jeg er den milde høsten er regn.
Når du våkner om morgenen hysj,
Jeg er den raske oppløftende myke brøl
Av stille fugler i sirkel reisen
Jeg er den myke stjernen som skinner om natten.
Ikke stå ved min grav og gråte.
Jeg er ikke der, jeg gjorde ikke dø. (1932)


Musée du débarquement de 1944 -- http://www.normandie1944.fr/ (en français)

Known as Operation Overlord, the Invasion was agreed upon by the Allies on November 30th 1943. What else happened on this date? GO HERE.

An all-black unit of US Soldiers (320th Antiaircraft Artillery Balloon Barrage Battalion) that landed in Normandy, France are to be honored on the 65th anniversary of D-Day by US President Barack Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy. http://www.nydailynews.com/ Sgt. Dunham's war years have been something of a mystery, the details of dates and places lost with the passage of time. The units that he served in were unknown even to the White House. Documents now place him at Stoney Cross, England, in the 1830th Ordnance Supply and Maintenance Company, US Army Aviation, on D-Day. His company supported the 9th Air Force as it prepared for the assault on Normandy and took part in the drive that carried the Allies across France (First Army). Dunham and the men of the 1830th came across six weeks after the initial Normandy invasion and followed the front through France. In February 1945, at Saint-Dizier (Haute Marne, Champagne), Dunham's unit was assigned to Patton's 3rd Army, and Dunham remained in that company until early April. Were it not for the events that enabled V-J Day in August 1945, he would've been fighting in Japan; and, without his support for his grandson, the President's life undoubtedly would have been different. Google News

Have a look at the new version of American D-Day website and discover the pictures of the last 29th Division convention (Washington D.C. - October 2004) @ http://www.americandday.org

 

"This website pays homage to those young Americans, who fought June 6, 1944, at Omaha Beach, Utah Beach and the Pointe du Hoc, sites responsible for changing the course of history."


[Pour visiter, cliquez sur la photo]



[To visit click on the picture]

 

« Ce site a été créé pour rendre hommage à ces jeunes américains, qui ont combattu le 06 juin 1944, sur ces lieux chargés d'histoire, tel qu'Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, et la Pointe du Hoc. »

Valentines Day -- February 14th: The oldest roots of St. Valentine's Day lie in the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia, which had been celebrated on February 15th for about 800 years. It dates from the beginning days of Rome as the traditional festival celebrating the wolf that nursed the two legendary founders of the City, Remus and Romulus. According to more modern legend, Charles of Valois, Duke of Orléans and father of the popular King Louis XII (Father of the People), sent the first Valentine messages (letters and poems) to his second wife, Bonne of Armagnac, in 1415, when Orléans was imprisoned in the Tower of London after the Battle of Agincourt {100 Years' War}. He, however, was not beheaded, and lived a full life. Unfortunetly, until 1440, it was spent in English captivity. He never saw his wife Bonne again. Orléans, an accomplished poet, composing in both French and English, was exceptional among his French contemporaries. http://www174.pair.com/mja/EHRrev.html So it is that the British Library has a copy of his works from about 1500, composed in French, English and Latin. He makes an appearance in Shakespeare's King Henry V (Act 4. Scene VIII), when his name is mentioned as one of the captives taken on October 25 -- Saint Crispin's Day.

From the same play, you may remember this:
 
KING. This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say "To-morrow is Saint Crispian":
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say "These wounds I had on Crispin's day."
 
* * *
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day.
 
{emphasis added}

A Band of Brothers was the featured theme about World War II and the European Campaign, including some behind the lines action on D-Day, which is why this little bit on Orléans is mentioned here. Why is Shakespeare relevant today ?? Shakespeare was writing at a time in which the English were bogged down in their Irish conquest. In an exchange involving the two English soldiers that a disguised King Henry encounters shortly before the battle of Agincourt (again from from Henry V), one soldier, John Bates, will not question his sovereign's motives. The second, Michael Williams, is skeptical of the King's reason for war, but he performs his duty because to disobey meant rejecting the very notion of citizenship. He says:

[I]f the cause be not good, the King himself hath a heavy reckoning to make when all those legs and arms and heads, chopp'd off in a battle, shall join together at the latter day and cry all 'We died at such a place'- some swearing, some crying for a surgeon, some upon their wives left poor behind them, some upon the debts they owe, some upon their children rawly left. I am afeard there are few die well that die in a battle; for how can they charitably dispose of anything when blood is their argument? Now, if these men do not die well, it will be a black matter for the king that led them to it; whom to disobey were against all proportion of subjection. Act IV, Scene 1

There are other examples, too, of Shakespeare questioning the motives and glory of war, but they are carefully crafted to avoid too much controversy. One had to be careful and not lose one's head. The battle on St. Crispin's Day that Shakespeare records took place in Picardy, one of many over time. For more go HERE.

What do you think ?
http://www.time.com/time/europe/hero2006/degaulle.html

Le Général de Gaulle: c'est d'abord une certaine idée de la France à Jacques Chirac

http://www.lefigaro.fr/

C'est l'homme qui de Londres, le 18 juin 1940, appela les Français à refuser le honteux armistice avec l'Allemagne nazie. C'est l'homme qui dit non à la Collaboration. C'est l'homme qui sauva l'honneur de la France, qui permit en 1945 à notre pays, avec les États-Unis, avec les Alliés, de figurer dans le camp des vainqueurs. Car de Gaulle avait compris que cette guerre était une guerre mondiale, un choc frontal entre les démocraties et le totalitarisme nazi. Il avait compris que, tôt ou tard, l'entrée en guerre des États-Unis serait déterminante et ferait basculer la victoire dans le camp de la liberté.

Bien peu d'hommes ont su, aussi bien que lui, incarner les valeurs éternelles de la France: c'est pour cela qu'une grande majorité de Français, aujourd'hui encore, voit en lui un symbole et un exemple.

Mais de Gaulle, c'était aussi un bâtisseur. A la Libération, il rétablit la République, assura la concorde civile, remit en marche l'industrie et les forces vives du pays. Il fit entrer la France dans la modernité en accordant enfin le droit de vote aux femmes. Il donna une nouvelle vigueur à notre idéal de solidarité en mettant en place la Sécurité sociale qui fait partie de notre identité. Il aurait voulu refonder sur de nouvelles bases nos institutions: la classe politique d'alors n'y était pas prête.

Et puis, bien peu d'hommes ont eu deux fois rendez-vous avec l'histoire: c'est cela aussi qui fait du Général un personnage hors du commun. En 1958, après douze ans de désordre institutionnel, dans les convulsions de la guerre d'Algérie, c'est lui qui sauva à nouveau la République. Il mit fin à la guerre et mena à bien la décolonisation en créant un lien nouveau, qui dure encore, avec les pays de l'ancien Empire. Il donna au pays sa Constitution actuelle, à la fois stable et souple, qui fonde la légitimité du Président de la République sur le suffrage universel. Il créa les conditions de l'industrialisation des années 1960, qui fit à nouveau de notre pays une grande nation économique.

Enfin, de Gaulle rendit à la France son rang dans le monde [construit: nuclear deterrent]. D'abord en dotant notre pays d'une force de dissuasion qui garde toute son actualité, et sans laquelle l'indépendance de notre pays ne serait qu'un mot. Et puis, lui qui l'avait tant combattue, il choisit la réconciliation avec l'Allemagne et jeta les bases de la construction européenne. Il créa les conditions d'une nouvelle politique internationale pour la France et fit entendre sa voix dans le monde, par les valeurs universelles qu'elle porte, les solidarités qu'elle cultive sur les cinq continents.

C'est, je crois, dans la fidélité à cette conception du rôle de la France que j'ai construit la réponse de notre pays à la mondialisation: la recherche d'une gouvernance mondiale qui soit fondée sur des valeurs et non pas sur les seuls intérêts économiques; l'importance des peuples, indépendants et souverains, qui doivent être respectés; le refus de l'usage unilatéral de la force dans un monde qui doit être régi par le droit et la solidarité; la diversité conçue comme une richesse; le refus du choc des civilisations et la nécessité du dialogue des cultures.

Voilà pourquoi, dans les turbulences contemporaines, la vision, l'ambition et le message du Général de Gaulle restent, à mes yeux, une fierté pour la France et une irremplaçable inspiration.

Charles de Gaulle: Twice he took center stage at decisive moments in French history and twice he saved the Republic By JACQUES CHIRAC


General de Gaulle famously evoked "a certain idea of France" in his memoirs, but in fact he embodied it. He was the man who, from London, on June 18, 1940, called on the French to refuse the offer of a shameful armistice with Nazi Germany. He was the man who said no to collaboration. He was the man who saved France's honor, who in 1945 enabled our country, with the United States, with the Allies, to be counted among the victors. For Charles de Gaulle had understood that the war was a world war, a head-on confrontation between the democracies and Nazi totalitarianism. He had understood that sooner or later the U.S. would make a decisive entry into the war, tipping the scales of victory onto the side of freedom.

Few men have represented the eternal values of France as well as he. That is why even today a large majority of French people still regard him as a symbol and an example.

But De Gaulle was also a builder. After the liberation he re-established the Republic, secured civil harmony and put industry back on its feet. He brought France into the modern era by at last giving women the vote. He gave fresh impetus to our ideal of solidarity by establishing the social security system which is part of our identity. He would have liked to reconstruct our institutions on new foundations, but the political class of the time was not ready for it.

Few men have twice found themselves taking center stage at key moments in a nation's history, something else which makes De Gaulle so exceptional. In 1958, after 12 years of disorder in its institutions, in a country racked by the Algerian war, it was he who again saved the Republic, ending the war and transforming former colonies into close partners. He gave France her present constitution, at once stable and flexible, under which the President derives his legitimacy from universal suffrage. He created the conditions for the wave of industrialization in the 1960s which turned our country into a great economic nation once more.

And De Gaulle restored France's position in the world by giving her a nuclear deterrent, without which her independence would be just an empty word. Moreover he, who had fought Germany so fiercely, chose reconciliation between the two countries and laid the foundations for the construction of Europe. He set a new foreign policy for France: he communicated her [universal] values, [thereby providing a foundation for] her unifying influence on five continents.

[Indeed] ... I have framed our country's response to globalization in keeping with that vision: the quest for global governance based on ethics and not merely economic interest; the importance of independent and sovereign peoples who must be respected; a refusal to use force unilaterally in a world where solidarity and the rule of law must prevail; diversity seen as a source of richness; rejection of the clash of civilizations and recognition of the need for dialogue between cultures.

That is why, in the turmoil of today's world, General de Gaulle's vision, ambition and message continue, in my view, to be a source of pride for France and an irreplaceable inspiration.

Jacques Chirac, President of France, a graduate of the top school for government training, was an assistant secretary to one of the ministries during De Gaulle's last term (1967-68).

"Avec ses amis, on peut avoir des divergences, on peut avoir des désaccords, on peut avoir des disputes. Mais dans la difficulté, dans l’épreuve, on est avec ses amis, on est à leurs côtés, on les soutient, on les aide." Renewing the French-American Alliance, by Nicolas Sarkozy, President of France, presented before a joint session of the US Congress, November 07, 2007 [Text of Speech in English].

[html rev: le 05 juin 2009 -- Je suis désolé pour ce dérangement à vous.]