D-Day: On Wars and Legacies
By: Deji Yesufu
Yesterday I spent time to discuss with a friend on why I could not join the “Black Lives Matter” campaign. I said, among other things, that I personally owe the Western World a great deal of what I am today. Particularly my religion and my education. It might seem a light thing to others, but I’m thankful that I can reason deep enough to arrive at that conclusion. Those who have suffered racism have a right to their views but they cannot impose those views on the rest of us.
One other thing I mentioned to this person is the blessing of legacies. I understand that a lot of things that make the American person, or most people from the West, what they are is something called Old Money. It is basically inheritance from parents and grandparents, which still translates to raw cash today for many of these people. So when a Nigerian goes to the USA, for example, he would take a while to break into wealth; unlike his white counterpart who may have a wealthy legacy to rely on. That, unfortunately, is half of the story. The other half is what I’m about to tell you now.
Friends, today in history is what is famously called D-Day. Kindly do a Google search and learn more about this day. Many people use the phrase “D-Day” but don’t know where it came from. Let me simply give a quick synopsis on the subject but I’ll hope you do your own research.
In 1939, war broke out in Europe. Germany had been defeated in the first world war (1914-1918) and were heavily fined by the victors. In between the first and second world wars, Hitler rose to power in Germany. Hitler led a party called the Third Reich or the Nazis. While paying off Germany’s fines, Hitler underwent a heavy militarization of Germany. He also heavily indoctrinated his people, preparing them for war. At the slightest provocation, Germany invaded Eastern Europe and war began. Quickly he overran most of Europe, including France.
England came under heavy bombardment and it was becoming obvious that they needed help. They reached out to the United States but the US was very reluctant to join the war. One of the reasons was that the US was a conglomerate of European citizens. They could not support one country against another. But when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, the USA entered the war the very next day. The war tore on. Casualties was mounting on both sides. Then the idea of invading Western Germany through Normandy, France, was broached.
D-Day was June 6, 1944. Thousands of American, British and Canadian (Allies) soldiers invaded Normandy through the beach. The Germans knew they were coming so they waited for them. The Allies sent air bombardments ahead to clear the way. After heavy firing, it was believed that Germans were heavily weakened. They were wrong.
Then came the Allies foot soldiers on 5 thousands ships. The first set of troops that landed on the shore were wasted by the Germans. In spite of it, the Allies kept arriving with more and more troops. Many were killed but the few number that survived, overran the Germans soldiers and won the battle at Normandy. The Allies used this great advantage to recover France and entered Germany from the west. While the Soviet entered from the East. On September, 1945 the war was over. The battle of Normandy is credited as one of the factors that ended the war.
So when we talk about the legacy the white man leaves for his children, that legacy is not just money but blood of thousands of men, mostly teenagers, who were killed at these wars. This legacy was purchased with blood and earned freedom and peace for latter generations.
If your children will know peace and prosperity, someone will have to buy it for them. When Africans rush to the West for a better life, they forget that this is how these people obtained that life. They graciously share that life with you and you prosper. And then at a slight provocation, you shout racism.
Nigeria and Africa as a whole is what she is because we received very little worthwhile legacies from our fathers.