D-Day 80 Year Anniversary - Important Lessons From The Past

D-Day 80 Year Anniversary - Important Lessons From The Past

06 Jun 2024

The Hon. Barnaby Joyce MP

Shadow Minister for Veterans’ Affairs

Member for New England

Media Statement

6 June 2024


80th D-Day Anniversary – Learning from leadership

The freedom of the individual away from the iron foot of tyranny on its throat is merely a very small fraction of the human experience  in the 10,000 years from the caves to AI today.  In only a portion of countries, and for only a couple of a hundred years, has there been freedom for the individual as we experience it in Australia. The perverse thing is the ambivalence and ignorance for this incredible gift that has only been achieved by tooth and claw. This enlightenment required leaders inspiring regular people to offer their life for a mighty cause.


The 6th of June 1944 was in the history of freedom of the individual of more importance and consequence than any day in modern history because of the size and totemic consequences of the battle. The outcome of D-Day underpinned the opportunity of individual progression beyond one’s status at birth, the unfettered belief that value is not determined by one’s skin, race or faith, the joy of living unmolested by the edicts of totalitarianism.


Fascism was a popular evil, premised on the antipathy that equivalence brought advancement for all and the best opportunity for happiness for the individual. The individual was merely a supplicant to the state and the inevitable tyrant presiding within.


Fascism murdered Jews in the millions in an industrial, profane, demonic apparatus of an otherwise highly educated society. Similarly, Gypsies are an often ignored ethnicity that was rounded up and murdered, as were the mentally infirm, as were gays, as were the discordant, as were Russians.


D-Day was the philosophy of freedom underpinned by the life offered of the tyre repairer from Texas and the farmer from Australia, as a soldier, airman or sailor fighting for life or death against combatants of similar lifestyles but motivated and instructed by a polar opposite world view.


The 6th of June 1944, eighty years ago, is the largest seaborne invasion in history followed by ferocious fighting and the death of tens of thousands. As you buy your coffee and walk carefree back to your office, that is the purchase by others of your freedom today. Its success was not a sure thing as is discovered in the biographies of key participants especially Supreme Commander Dwight D Eisenhower. Eisenhower would have ultimate authority over a million troops from a range of countries, the vast majority from the USA, in the Battle of Normandy. Hitler put forward his best in Field Marshall Erwin Rommel.


The fact that Eisenhower and Rommel were of German Heritage or German so splendidly elucidates that this was a battle of a core world view not of race, religion or so many, but not all, of the other demarcations that have brought human slaughter on the battlefield of the past.


D-Day was the catalyst of success in the Second World War, the hopeful path to freedom for future humankind. The alternative of a drawn-out war that finished in a negotiated stalemate was failure. Evil has to be crushed without any ameliorating clauses that leaves it with a root to grow from.


Eighty years after D-Day we live in an Australia where we can’t fill our own defence force with our own people. Like fascism of the past, otherwise well educated people are protesting at universities and in the public square against a race, the same ones, men women and children, that fascism murdered. We can observe in our cities and towns the phenomenon of those who put their foot on the path  to the ultimate evil. Unlike the past we don’t have leadership with the clarity of Eisenhower to unambiguously and without caveat or addendum, refute antisemitism. We have in Australia the perversion of some to being a sympathiser to the same methodology and philosophy that those in our own family formerly fought against.


If a farmer from Australia in a bombing raid on D-Day had worked out enough to offer his life to the righteous and magnificent cause, what has gone wrong today?

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