Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Historical June

Today, June 4, marks the beginning of three of the most important anniversary dates in the history of the twentieth century.

June 4, is the 25th anniversary of the battle for democracy in China, focused on Tienanmen Square in that nation's capital.  Students from across China gathered in the square to ask the government for more rights and freedoms, and democratic elections.  The protest/demonstration went on for days.  Finally the police and army moved in with tanks and guns to remove, arrest or shoot the demonstrators.  I believe hundreds if not thousands were killed, although no official accurate body count was ever announced!

According to official Chinese records the incident never even happened.  All Chinese history books do not mention the atrocities of Tienanmen Square twenty five years ago.  Many of us interested in world democracy watched the happenings in that square.  We saw the film of the "Tank Man" actually stopping an army tank by standing in front of it!  We saw the film showing truckloads of dead and wounded students being hauled away after the carnage.  We know it happened and we will remember!

June 5 & 6 marks the anniversaries of two Second World War battles which turned the tide of war in favour of the Allies. 

The Battle of Midway took place on June 5th, 1942.  It put an end to the aircraft carrier domination by Japan in the Pacific.  The Americans ambushed the Japanese fleet as it prepared to invade the tiny island of Midway in the Pacific. 

The Americans sunk all four of the Japanese carriers and started turning the war around in their favour.

D-Day took place on June 6, 1944.  Allied armies stormed the beaches of Normandy in France.  It was the largest invasion force ever assembled.  It was the beginning of the end for Hitler and his Nazi domination of Europe. 

Canadians landed on a beach named Juno while Canadian aircraft provided air cover overhead.  Thousands of Canadians were killed or wounded on those first few days.

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