Why The Bomber Command Memorial Matters.
Now, I don’t normally read too many newspapers, firstly because I don’t get a great deal of time to do so, but mainly because I am not that interested in which footballer is bedding which whore, or if Paris Hilton is partying in Vegas without any knickers…
But today is different, because as I was perusing the front pages of the dailies in my local Tesco Express, I came across the headline of the Daily Express. ‘DON’T MENTION THE WAR’ with the sub headline stating that German politicians are trying to stop Britain building a memorial to honour the heroes of Bomber Command.
I have to say I find this incredulous. Firstly it is a memorial to 55,573 aircrew who bravely took to the skies during World War 2 to defend our island from the Nazis and never returned home to their families. It is NOT a celebration or some crass gesture to Germany to say ‘we bombed more cities than you’, and it is certainly not a tasteless gesture aimed directly at towns such as Dresden, Cologne, and Frankfurt that suffered so terribly during the war. Despite what some German politicians might think.
In face, not having a memorial to Bomber Command is tasteless. These guys suffered huge casualties, indeed 10% of all war casualties were from Bomber Command, and it is the only sector of the armed forces to not have a formal memorial dedicated to their memory. Surely we owe it to them, the airmen and airwomen, to remember their brave deeds and actions?
According to the Daily Express, Helma Orosz, the Mayor of Dresden, is quoted as saying “A memorial like the one which is planned in London would not be part of the culture of reconciliation.” She also added: “The emotions of the people in Dresden are running high. It is against our culture of remembrance.”
Well excuse me, but surely if Britain chooses to build a memorial to British airmen and women, who fought and died for Britain, and to build it in London, then isn’t that down to us? Without being rude….it really is none of your business, love.
If they (The Germans) were to succeed in ensuring this memorial wasn’t built, then what next? Are they going to tell the Jews to tear down their memorials of the Holocaust? Should we then tear down all the memorials and statues in London? The Cenotaph would have to go…Nelson’s Column would probably be on the list, plus thousands of town and village memorials up and down the country. While we are at it, let’s close down all the museums, burn all the books and pretend it all didn’t happen. That’s a sure-fire way of our kids making the exact same mistakes again, and WW3 would be on us in a jiffy.
To not build this memorial would be a huge injustice for all the heroes of the RAF and Bomber Command. We should be proud of them, not hide them away incase they embarrass us or another country. Let us celebrate their actions, remember their memories and make sure that we don’t need to build any more memorials in memory of another 55,000 hero’s.
So, with that, I am going to stick 2 Churchill-esque fingers up at those damned German politicians. Keep your noses out of our business. The Bomber Command Memorial needs to raise £2 million by the end of 2010 to enable it to be built, I am going to donate £20 right now. I ask all of you that read this to donate a small amount too…let’s show the world how proud we are of our history, our heritage, and our RAF.
You can read more on the Bomber Command Memorial, and donate to the cause at www.bombercommand.com