Video: Eisenhower returns to Normandy 20 years later
#1
CBS uploaded the full episode of a 90-minute TV special (less commercials) that they produced and aired in 1964.

Watch CBS Reports (1964): "D-Day Plus 20 Years - Eisenhower Returns to Normandy" from YouTube
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Walter Cronkite and General (then former President) Dwight D. Eisenhower retraced the steps of the Normandy invasion and its progress inland. I've never seen this documentary before. I guess it was only aired once.

My parents would have watched it. I'm sure my grandfather would have watched it (he was a WWII veteran). My father was on active duty at the time but I am sure he would have watched it if he could (he was also a WWII veteran).

I remember the day John Kennedy was shot (Nov. 22, 1963) - I watched the news all day long while at a baby sitter's home. When my mother came to pick me up I was so upset I had to tell her the president had been shot. I also remember eating too many cookies that day and the gross aftermath.

But I don't remember this TV special. I am sure I never saw it, not even in school.

It's a fascinating retrospective by two men who lived through the war: one who led the Allied armies and one who reported on their progress.

It's well worth watching and if you want your kids to learn something about that war from first-hand witnesses, I cannot think of a better documentary. Of course a lot of it was scripted. It's obvious from some of the camera angles as well as the fact that they shot the footage over several days that it was choreographed.

But you do get to see some things that you probably won't have seen elsewhere.

I just wish it weren't in black and white.
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#2
Booo! "The uploader has not made this video available in your country." Too bad, it looked interesting.
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#3
Sorry about that. I forget that American broadcast media have yet to fully grasp the meaning of "Internet".

For me I think the most interesting aspect of the documentary is that it is the longest recording of Ike I've ever seen. For most of my life he has been a man in pictures and a handful of soundbites. In that video he seemed like someone who was alive in my lifetime, although I doubt I would have watched this documentary when I was a kid. If I did I don't remember watching it. I probably would have been playing with my toys while my family watched it around me.
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#4
As the last members of the D-Day Generation leave us, I sometimes wonder what their efforts will mean to future generations. I grew up hearing about the war from my parents and grandparents. I can pass on their stories to future generations but my recounting is only 2nd-hand. I can't stand with the veterans and say "I was there - this is why we fought."

Recent developments in U.S. society going back at least a decade, if not longer, have emboldened and empowered people who embrace Nazi ideology in our country and around the world. But there are other nationalist sentiments which - though disavowing Nazism on the surface - seek to reinvigorate the ideas that led to the rise of Nazism and fascism.

It bothers me to see our nation so divided on issues that only 70 years ago united most of us. And I don't want to gloss over the mistakes that were made by the U.S. government and military in the 1940s about how we treated our own loyal citizens. It was not a perfect time, but despite the immense differences in political and social opinions, Americans came together to win a war a majority never wanted to fight.

I hope we find that strength of unity and purpose again, without the racism and oppression that marred the historical effort despite its otherwise great successes.
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