WATCHING the news of the 75th anniversary commemorations of D-Day yesterday was a very emotional occasion, bringing many to tears, as it did myself. I have visited Pegasus Bridge in its original site and all the area of the beaches on many occasions.

Between 5am and 6am, I have watched that coastline begin to appear out of the morning mists as the sun rose and then travelled through the still sleeping, peaceful towns that border it, and thought of all the young men on that fateful morning for whom that scene was the last they ever saw in this world, of the fear and dread they must have felt and the courage they still mustered to forge ahead on our behalf. What a debt we owe them!

Yet watching yesterday managed at the same time to engender feelings of anger and revulsion at the sheer hypocrisy on view. To see Trump, who dodged national service in his own country – a family tradition, if tales of his grandfather are true – sitting beside the Queen, who as a teenager continued to live in London and became involved personally in war work, while her parents moved among the ruins of bombing and gave support and courage to the civilian victims, seemed to me an insult to the whole purpose and ethos of the commemoration.

For him to have any association whatever with celebrating “world peace”, let alone speak of it, is beyond hypocrisy. This is a man who, in the short time he has been president, has antagonised some of the most unstable and volatile countries in the world by trying to bully them into submission and has imposed conditions that make their struggles even worse, even using a show of military might as a threat, all to glorify himself.

Has he never heard about cornered animals? How long before one of them is pushed into retaliating in a way that inevitably escalates into war? Does it really honour the Americans who died on these beaches that most of the wars with the most dire consequences for ordinary civilians in the years since 1944 have been caused by American attempts to be world policemen and impose puppet leaders, usually leaving chaos behind them?

The only part of the world reasonably successful in maintaining peace has been the EU. Yet our Westminster government is intent on leaving that coalition of mutually successful common endeavour in favour of throwing in our lot with a bully whose notion of promoting peace rests on coercion and “punishment” until all bow before him! Is this what Scotland wants for our children’s future?

L McGregor

IT is hard to stomach the hypocrisy of May and her gang who talk of the debt we owe to those who fought in Normandy. Rather then repay a debt they are determined to cut the pensions paid to survivors, already the meanest in the developed world, deny them the care they need and rob their savings. Remembrance services should be times of solemnity but it is time that these hypocrites are called out.

Ian Richmond
Dumfries and Galloway Pensioners for Independence

IN this week of important D-Day commemoration around Britain and Europe I would like to draw the attention of those interested to a local site of importance to the D-Day landings which is situated up in the hills above Dunblane. This is the “Atlantic Wall”. Not many people know about this structure and its purpose and history.

It was created in 1943 to simulate the conditions the invading forces of the allied armies would encounter when the eventual invasion of northern France took place. Once it had been constructed, live ammunition training by the British Army took place and valuable experience was gained which stood them in good stead when the allied forces landed in Normandy.

A few years ago a project was instigated by the Dunblane Museum to make a record of this structure. This was narrated by Dr Tony Pollard of Glasgow University archaeology department, whose face will be well known to those of you who have watched various battlefield digs around Europe. This can be found on YouTube; simply enter “Dunblane D-Day Connection”.

This is a piece of history which is not well known, and in a week such as this deserves to reach a wider audience.

George M Mitchell

SO it would appear that Trump has softened his stance on the NHS being part of the trade negotiations. I personally think he was advised to retract it given how badly it landed with the public. Given that it was only last Sunday on Marr that the US ambassador for to the UK said the NHS would be on the table, we should be asking ourselves who we trust. Or if you prefer, who we trust the least.

Maggie Rankin

THE answer to the controversial US-UK trade deal is simple. The Prime Minister just needs to ask Donald Trump to switch around the terms US and UK in the the “Objectives for a US-UK Trade Agreement” so that these become the UK’s objectives too, then he can go back home and implement all the changes required to US laws, standards, and competition policy to meet our objectives – on the understanding that the UK will be delighted to meet him and sign off the joint trade agreement once that has been completed.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry

I WRITE in complete agreement with George M Mitchell (Letters, June 5) when he says it’s time that all talk of a “special relationship” with USA was ended once and for all. How many of the nostalgia peddlers are aware that everything we got from our “special relationship” was paid for, and continued to be paid for decades after the end of World War Two? The financial gain element has never been far removed from ANY wars USA has been involved in/started.

The military/industrial gang in USA have way to much influence in government policy, and not just in USA. Our “independent” nuclear deterrent to name but one, is useless without USA say-so. If I have to be part of a “United States of ...” then I choose Europe with all its faults and shortcomings over the “land of the free and home of the brave” – “land of the oppressed poor, religious bigots, xenophobes and homophobes” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it.

Barry Stewart