Many of you, I know will have watched the celebrations of the 60th anniversary of the D-day landings with great interest. It was truly a turning point in history. Most of us are too young to remember it; few of us had any real insight into what those gallant servicemen faced, or really understood the cost at which our liberty was preserved.
Can it be that now we will value our freedom more? Those men landing on the Normandy beaches were fighting to drive back a terrible tyranny which threatened to engulf the world, and it was deeply moving to see the profound honour in which so many young French people hold the veterans who liberated their parents and grandparents from the Nazi occupation.
Freedom is a precious thing – never to be taken for granted. Fortunately we have not known the horror of occupation by enemy forces with an alien outlook on life. We have always been able to say what we think, to express religious and political opinions, to choose the newspaper we read, to associate freely and to protest against political and social changes of which we do not approve.
Watching the films of the D-day landings and listening to the reminiscences of those who were there shows us the price that others paid for our freedom. So let's value it and honour it, and do everything we can to preserve it – there could be no better way to honour their memory and the sacrifice they made. For it is in freedom that human beings attain their highest potential, and in defending it that they show their noblest characteristics.
God grant that we may preserve and respect our freedom in peace time so that we never again have to resort to war to defend or reclaim it. MALCOLM
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About the Vicar's Letter
The Vicar's Letter has been appearing in the villages Focus magazine since August 2002.
The Rev. Peter Graham also used to publish The Vicar's Letter in the parish magazine of 1964. Please see the Vicar's Letter area for these.