By Charles Cooper
Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.
It’s incredible to realize that June 6 is the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings in France. What’s more incredible is that I was a kid listening to it on our battery-powered Philco radio. The government kept so much from us all during that war, but they wanted us to hear about the landings to keep up our morale.
What they didn’t want us to know was that General Bradley was on a ship offshore waiting to hear if they wanted to cancel the invasion. In retrospect it’s good we didn’t know about that or about the letter that General Eisen-hower had written stating that the invasion had failed and he assumed full responsibility. Fortunately that letter was never sent and by late afternoon a beachhead had been established. But, at a cost of 2,500 dead on Omaha alone.
I’ve never been a fan of FDR, but he had the ability to come on the radio and assure the American people that we were winning and we believed him. We didn’t get a constant barrage of gloom and doom like we get today. There was a totally different media in those days like Edward R. Murrow speaking live from London being truthful and yet upbeat at the same time. War correspondent Ernie Pyle was right down in the mud with the ground troops reporting it like it was, but still not in a way that would leave us depressed.
Charles Upchurch of the Jumper’s Chapel community, and I were friends, even though he was much older. He told me a shell exploded so close to him that he actually felt himself in the air. He survived all this and was in several other battles after D-Day.
This is not the column I started to write. But, because of all those who sacrificed so much, I’m able to sit down and write what I choose without fear of reprisal. This week’s column is dedicated to those still living and those who have passed on.
Now for my usual change of direction. As all of you know by now I still remain an optimist in spite of the effort by the news media and the White House to convince me that all is lost. Here is a classic example: you see teenagers and college students being interviewed on the street who don’t know who the Vice-President is. One even said John Adams. However, since the tornado that did such damage to Tupelo, Louisville and other East Mississippi towns, the call has gone out for volunteers. Just one example is a church group of teenagers from Atlanta who spent a week helping with the clean up. We should all be proud that a Tupelo TV station featured this story while other stations across the country show the other types because they believe that bad news sells better.
It is also my firm belief that there are more good people who are fed up with the conditions today than the ones looking for a hand out. Every day I’m happy that we moved back home but I also see things that are not what they should be and must be changed.
Let me hear your thoughts and we might feature your letter.
My email address is email@example.com or write me c/o The North Mississippi Herald, P.O. Box 648, Water Valley, MS 38965 and have a great week.