There are two dates in early June that should be prominently remembered. One, of course, is D Day, June 6, the day in 1944 when, according to Herbert London of the Hudson Institute, “the U. S. saved Europe from itself” on the beaches of Normandy. I often wonder if our young people have a proper understanding of the sacrifices that we then asked and expected of our soldiers and their families, of what was at stake, and how easily there could have been a different outcome. I wonder also whether or not our country could ever again have the perseverance to successfully prosecute such a total war to unconditional victory. Let’s hope we don’t have to prove it, while being thankful that we then had a warrior class as well as a political class with the persistence to complete the job.
The other date is June 4, the 20th anniversary of the crushing of the uprising in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, in support of Chinese democracy, human and civil rights. There is yet no accurate count of the large numbers of people who were killed as the Chinese army moved in to clear the Square of millions of Chinese who had gathered there in peaceful protest. Why is this important to Americans? One, because the crowds of people who began assembling over two weeks earlier were instructed and informed by the rhetoric of the American revolutionaries and “the proposition” expressed in our founding documents. Their most prominent symbol was a replica of our Statue of Liberty. Moreover, the rights that were demanded and for the appeal to which the assembled crowds were crushed should be the foundation for our continuing efforts to find common ground with the current Chinese regime. The theme is individual freedom, and we should always be its champion, wherever it springs. The current Chinese leaders might want to forget this anniversary, but we shouldn’t allow that, no matter how commercially engaged we might be or how much of our debt they own.