Mar 212009

It has been a while since the last Leviathan Ankle-Biter award. But here are some exceptionally deserving recipients — a bunch of British combat veterans of World War II. (“We’ll Fight Brown on the Beaches : D-Day veterans angry at ‘politicisation’ of anniversary“, in The Independent.)

They raised money so those who are fit for the trip could go to the Normandy beaches for the 65th anniversary. There are about 500 who can go. It will be the last opportunity for a lot of them. It was with some difficulty that they raised the money, but they got it — through private contributions.

Then the politicians wanted to horn in on the event. But the veterans are telling them to buzz off:

But Peter Hodge, secretary of the Normandy Veterans Association (NVA), said: “Ministers on the beaches is not really what we wanted or needed. We never complained about the Government not giving us money. We wanted this to be between the veterans and the British people. The public response to our appeal, first publicised in The Independent, has already been fantastic.”

“We also wanted this to be mostly about the veterans themselves. If ministers go along, the extra security tends to mean that veterans are pushed into the background.”

It’s good to hear that something like this can still happen in a country that has been busy trashing its heritage (e.g. throwing out the rule of law in favor of anti-social-behaviour ordinances). Even though these guys are old, they’re going out by setting an example that the rest of the country would do well to learn from, as would those in our own country.