Continuing our new series of stories from our Young People’s Voices project – funded by Victorious Festival and supported by the University of Portsmouth – student at Havant and South Downs College, Katelyn Barnard shares her thoughts on the Trump protests surrounding the D-Day commemorations and the resulting media storm.
It’s the 6th of June 1944, Allied forces launch a combined naval, air and land assault on Nazi-occupied France. 75 years later, and we commemorated the deaths of over 2500 British soldiers and the monstrous aftermath of Operation Overlord. Or at least we were trying to.
In what world does Trump come before D-Day? Clearly this one.
Due to his controversial and somewhat absurd views, one being ‘global warming is a hoax’, Trump is either loved or hated around the globe. During his three day visit to the UK, I think the public’s opinion was very obvious; ‘Nazi scum’ was vehemently yelled from the streets as onlookers gesticulated and bellowed at Trump. But wasn’t the day meant to be commemorating our fallen soldiers?
The uproar and coverage on Trump’s famous visit skyrocketed to headlines and local news groups, completely ignoring the original cause and celebrations of the day. It is shocking that just a three day visit from the current president of the United states can overrule 75 years of grief and loss.
It is a day the entire country commemorates the thousands of soldiers from all backgrounds who sacrificed their lives during the D-Day landings, and I believe protesting against someone on a day dedicated to something so patriotic and sombre is an utter insult to their memory. Anti-Trump protesters tried to justify their actions by calling their protest ‘People’s D-Day’ – this is completely wrong and disrespectful, taking the focus off the history and memory, and shining a light on current political, world and Trump-related affairs.
I support the protests against the man (don’t get me wrong), but I do not support the very poor timing and disrespectful actions of those opposing his visit just as much as I disagree with Trump’s views and decisions, regardless of the current political state.
Even Nigel Farage slammed plans for the demonstration, stating it is ‘utterly inappropriate’. D-Day is not about Trump whatsoever, no matter your opinion of him, or politics at all.
The time for protesting was not during the D-Day commemorations. Whether you agree with the man or not.
The Young People’s Voices project aims to provide young people with a platform to share their opinions, report on topics that affect them and advance standards of literacy. We worked with students from St Edmunds School and Havant and South Downs College to investigate and write their own stories, in a variety of styles and mediums – from creative memoir and opinion pieces to their own investigations. All their work will be published on S&C throughout July, and all participants have the chance to enter their work into a competition to read their story on the Spoken Word Stage at the 2019 Victorious Festival. You will find all the Young People’s Voices stories here as we publish them.
This project is supported by the University of Portsmouth, with thanks to the teams in Creative and Cultural Industries (CCI). It was delivered by University of Portsmouth MSc and PhD researchers Maddie Wallace and Lauren Jones.