Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Mirror, mirror on the war...

The faked Iraqi prisoner photos would suggest that the Daily Mirror and military history go together like ice cream and gravy, but a report in today's edition is worth reflecting on.

The Mirror asked 1,000 under 25s across the country what they knew about D-Day and the results were astonishing. Seventy three per cent did not know what it was, when it happened, or who was involved.

The collective knowledge of those interviewed would indicate that D-Day was in Japan in 1962 when Germany had a king. And as one 16-year old put it: "It's not important though, is it. It's past so there is no need to keep remembering it."

If you added together the IQs of those surveyed, all obviously Mirror readers, you wouldn't have enough intelligence to make a half-wit, but I still find the results depressing.

We are talking about a war that ended less than sixty years ago. A war in which an estimated 48 million civilians and military personnel lost their lives. And yet this decisive battle on the beaches of Normandy, which heralded the end of Hitler's dream, is already being forgotten.

The Allies suffered more than 4,000 D-Day casualties, most of whom were younger than those surveyed by the Daily Mirror.

I suggest we point all the country's under 25s in the direction of Google and tell them to enter 'D-Day'. This should return approximately 1,810,000 results which might help them fill in the gaps in their knowledge. Leave them unsupervised, of course, and they are more likely to enter 'Britney Spears' which will return around 4,340,000 results, which perhaps explains everything.

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