Lest we forget.
‘We were greeted by German machine gun fire’: Canadian veteran recalls ‘traumatic’ D-Day battle
When Pierre Gauthier first stepped into the French city of Caen, there was little to see beyond the sad remnants of a months-long battle. The city had been flattened. Rubble, destroyed buildings and the paltry ruins of a centuries-old cathedral, with its windows blown out, were all that was left.
To the eyes of the 89-year-old former sergeant from Montreal, everything has long since changed.
“It’s surprising. It’s very surprising,” he said on Wednesday from his chateau in France. “Here is this big, huge modern city. It’s industrialized, there are beautiful factories. There wasn’t much left of the city when we destroyed it in July 1944. It was not just the city of Caen, all of these cities were badly damaged. This country has arll changed.” (National Archives of Canada)
This. Only this.
“That picture was taken during the Sikh day parade. He was one of the first people I photographed. He’s a computer IT specialist. He travels a lot. Sikhs at the time were being randomly selected for security. I wish people would just say “you have that thing on your hand and we aren’t sure what it is” instead telling someone they are randomly selected. One time he wore the shirt through security and the guard chuckled. It’s a way of loading off steam at the reality that people have to face.
When the tragedy first happened, my heart sunk. A time frame is a time frame. The pictures have been out there. I wasn’t thinking that people need to see this. When I was speaking to the Sikh Coalition, I was thinking this is the perfect time for people to see them because they wouldn’t just see the suffering but see the positive things. I had this vision of how I wanted these pictures to look. I’m not creating a false environment; I want to portray the positive images not in crisis and in mourning. Those types of pictures are important. But I want people to understand the vibrancy of this community.”
Nothing can top this. Nothing.
Interviewer: Okay. Which designers do you prefer?
Hillary Clinton: What designers of clothes?
Hillary Clinton: Would you ever ask a man that question?
Interviewer: Probably not. Probably not.