Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Share via Shortlink Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi with their Beverly Hills home (Getty, Redfin)Luxury real estate investors Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have listed their latest flip: a sprawling Beverly Hills mansion they bought from Adam Levine two years ago.The couple paid the Maroon 5 frontman $42.5 million for the home and are now seeking $53.5 million, according to the Los Angeles Times.The 10,400-square-foot mansion sits on an acre on Loma Vista Drive just above Sunset Boulevard. The ivy-draped home has five bedrooms and nine bathrooms, and a two-story foyer. There is a pool, a full size tennis court, putting green and a guesthouse.DeGeneres and de Rossi are among the most active luxury home flippers in Southern California. They closed nearly $200 million worth of deals across the region from 2017 to early 2019.In September, they bought Dennis Miller’s estate in Montecito for $49 million. Later in the fall they sold another Montecito property — a nine-acre compound — for $33 million. That was a $5 million markup from the $27 million they paid in early 2019.[LAT] — Dennis Lynch Beverly HillsCelebrity Real Estate Tags
Ability to communicate effectively, both orally and inwriting;Ability to understand and respond to oral and writteninstructions and ideas;Ability to interpret, apply and communicate disciplineconcepts;Effective time management and organizational skills;Ability to work harmoniously and cooperatively with colleagues,faculty, staff and students;Ability to meet deadlines;Knowledge of tutoring concepts and their applications;Ability to select and implement tutoring strategies, methods,and procedures based on student needs;Ability to observe and accurately assess and respond to studentneeds;Must have proficient computer skills, including MS Officesuite, ZOOM meetings, advanced information technology skills, andknowledge of instructional technology.Required QualificationsMinimum Education and Training Requirements: Description/Job SummaryOverview:The purpose of tutoring is to increase and enhance the student’smastery of concepts or applications of a specific course of study.An Instructional Tutor assists in providing individual and smallgroup tutoring services to BCCC students. Instructional Tutorsprovide students with pre-tutoring assessments to identify thestudent’s weakness and design an individualized learningplan.Writing tutors help students with the writing process and not withediting papers. Using guiding questions, writing tutors elicitcritical thinking in students, aiding the students understanding ofhis/her writing.Responsibilities/DutiesEssential Functions: Experience in tutoring and/or teaching at the collegelevel;Equivalent combinations of experience and education may alsoreceive consideration;Minimum GPA of 3.0;Instructor recommendation;Peer tutors must be enrolled in at least sixcredits; Provide individual and small group tutoring to BCCC students incontent areas;Assist with assessing the academic needs of the students anddeveloping plans for remediation;Provide guidance on effective learning strategies to maximizethe student’s potential for academic progress and assist them inbecoming successful, independent learners;Communicate student progress to faculty and to the TutoringManager;Maintain documentation on student remediation plan, process andsuccess;Develop resources and practice materials for use in tutoringsessions;Keep regular and accurate records of tutoring sessions usingdesignated software and/or relevant forms;Provide evaluations and other reports as requested by the CAADirector;Attend tutor training and required meetings;Complete and return reports of tutoring sessions in an accurateand timely manner;Report any problems or concerns to the CAA Directorimmediately;Follow all BCCC policies; establish credibility with thestudent and staff; and behave in accordance with the College’svalues and expectations;Perform related duties as requiredRequired SkillsRequired Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
VETERINARY TECH 1(35301) or VETERINARY TECH 2(35302) or VETERINARYTECH 3(35303) Position Summary: This position performs technical responsibilities in support of the24/7 needs of the Critical Care Unit and Emergency Services of UWVeterinary Care (UWVC). The position requires the individual tomake independent and responsible decisions which may affect theoutcome/quality of animal life. Requires the ability to lift aminimum of 50lbs. independently and physical and manual dexterityto perform specialized technical tasks. Responsibilities mayinclude, but are not limited to:1) Oversees/guides workflow in area focusing on special patientneeds.2) Anticipates needs of clinicians in procedures and primarycare.3) Participates in case overviews to better access and directtechnical patient support.4) Develops knowledge and responsibility in area of specializationto include maintenance of special equipment, instructing others inuse and care, assisting clinician/students in procedures.5) Contributes to team management care utilized in Critical CareUnit and Emergency Services. Week 1: Monday 4:30PM-4:30AM / Tuesday 4:30PM-2:30AM / Wednesday4:30PM-2:30AM / Saturday 4PM-5AMWeek 2: Sunday 4PM-5AM / Monday 4:30PM-2:30AM / Thursday4:30PM-4:30AMWill include Holiday and weekend shiftsNight and Weekend differential applicable on top of the basepay The University of Wisconsin is an Equal Opportunity andAffirmative Action Employer. We promote excellence throughdiversity and encourage all qualified individuals to apply.If you need to request an accommodation because of a disability,you can find information about how to make a request at thefollowing website: https://employeedisabilities.wisc.edu/disability-accommodation-information-for-applicants/ License or Certificate: Highly qualified candidates will have the following: a minimum of 2years’ experience working as a critical care/ emergency technician;excellent technical skills, communication skills, including theability to triage phone calls, perform patient intake, performtreatments, understanding of critical cases to assist the doctors.Ability to multitask and prioritize while assisting/teaching 4thyear students. Ability to function calmly in stressful situationsand to work cooperatively with other people. Job no: 229936-USWork type: Staff-Full TimeDepartment: VET M/CCU-ANESTH-ER/CCULocation: MadisonCategories: Animal Care, Veterinary Medicine Additional Information: Department(s): No Degree Required 229936-US Certification as Wisconsin Veterinary Technician or Eligibility toObtain within 12 months Work Schedule: Employment Class: The University of Wisconsin-Madison is engaged in a Title and TotalCompensation (TTC) Project to redesign job titles and compensationstructures. As a result of the TTC project, official job titles oncurrent job postings may change in Fall 2020. Job duties andresponsibilities will remain the same. For more information pleasevisit: https://hr.wisc.edu/title-and-total-compensation-study/.Employment will require a criminal background check. It will alsorequire you and your references to answer questions regardingsexual violence and sexual harassment.The University of Wisconsin System will not reveal the identitiesof applicants who request confidentiality in writing, except thatthe identity of the successful candidate will be released. See Wis.Stat. sec. 19.36(7).The Annual Security and FireSafety Report contains current campus safety and disciplinarypolicies, crime statistics for the previous 3 calendar years, andon-campus student housing fire safety policies and fire statisticsfor the previous 3 calendar years. UW-Madison will provide a papercopy upon request; please contact the University of Wisconsin PoliceDepartment . A878150-SCHOOL OF VET MEDICINE/CCU-ANESTH-ER/CCU Appointment Type, Duration: Applications Open: Dec 22 2020 Central Standard TimeApplications Close: May 10 2021 11:55 PM Central DaylightTime Institutional Statement on Diversity: Minimum Years and Type of Relevant Work Experience: List of Duties Minimum $16.50 HOURLYDepending on Qualifications Position Duties: Degree and Area of Specialization: Contact: Begin the online application process by clicking the ” button.Applicants are asked to upload a cover letter outlining yourexperience as related to the position, current resume, as well as alist of professional references. This position is being posted atVet Tech levels 1, 2 and 3. Level and pay are commensurate withexperience. Melinda [email protected] Access (WTRS): 7-1-1 (out-of-state: TTY: 800.947.3529, STS:800.833.7637) and above Phone number (See RELAY_SERVICE for furtherinformation. ) Requires the ability to lift a minimum of 50 lbs. independently andphysical and manual dexterity toperform specialized technical tasks.This position is posted at Vet Tech levels 1, 2 and 3. Level isdetermined by qualifications based on type of prior veterinary techexperience.To qualify for Level 1: Entry level, new CVT grad or awaiting tosit for the CVT exam, or some CVT working experience with nospecialization.To qualify for Level 2: Generally over 3 years of veterinary techexperience, may substitute years of experience forspecialization.To qualify for Level 3: Veterinary Tech Specialist (VTS), or highlyqualified and specialized in a specific area, may have priorexperience from another university hospital. Official Title: University Staff-Ongoing Job Number: Ongoing/Renewable Diversity is a source of strength, creativity, and innovation forUW-Madison. We value the contributions of each person and respectthe profound ways their identity, culture, background, experience,status, abilities, and opinion enrich the university community. Wecommit ourselves to the pursuit of excellence in teaching,research, outreach, and diversity as inextricably linkedgoals.The University of Wisconsin-Madison fulfills its public mission bycreating a welcoming and inclusive community for people from everybackground – people who as students, faculty, and staff serveWisconsin and the world.For more information on diversity and inclusion on campus, pleasevisit: Diversity andInclusion Instructions to Applicants: Salary:
A letter to Cherwell from the parents of Emilie Harris, a former Catz undergraduate who was killed in a cycle accident eight years ago, has detailed the charity work that continues to be carried out in her name.Following her death in May 2004, a registered charity called ‘Emilie’s Charities’ was established, which now “supports projects involving underprivileged children and young adults in developing countries”.In addition, her father, Martin Harris, has continued to complete a sponsored ‘Emilie’s trousers’ bike ride, a reference to a pair of trousers his daughter brought back from Bolivia in her gap year. Charity events in Harris’s home village and college have helped ensure that “that her light shines on”, the letter, signed by her parents, explained.Cycle safety remains a source of concern in Oxford. Earlier this year, Botley Road was identified by safety group Sustrans as one of Britain’s accident hotspots.
Lidl has confirmed its intentions to roll out in-store bakeries to all its UK outlets, should the success it has seen so far continue.The discount retailer has reportedly already rolled the concept out to around 340 of its 600 UK stores.A spokesperson for Lidl said that, in response to customers’ increasing focus on fresh food, it had been trialling in-store bakeries in several UK regions over the past 12 months to gauge customer feedback.“So far, the in-store bakeries have been a huge hit with customers and, if the next batch of in-store bakeries proves to be just as successful this year, then we will roll them out nationwide.”In August 2011, British Baker reported that the German retailer had installed ISBs in 75 stores in its north-east sales region, bringing its total number of outlets with ISBs in the UK to 90.
Notre Dame will host the first presidential debate of the 2020 election campaign on Sept. 29, 2020, University President Fr. John Jenkins announced at a Friday press conference. It will be the first presidential debate hosted at the University.“Notre Dame — throughout its history — has hosted presidents and world leaders, national figures,” Jenkins said. “But this will be its first presidential debate, hosted here on campus. The world’s attention during that time will be on us, and will be on this region as journalists and many others descend for that period to report on and witness that debate.” Mary Bernard | The Observer University President Fr. John Jenkins announced Friday that Notre Dame will host the first presidential debate in 2020.Jenkins said he thinks presidential debates hold a “sacred moment” in the democratic process.“There is — as we all know — so much noise and spin and presentation with campaigns,” he said. “But that’s a time when candidates are asked to engage one another in serious debate about serious topics so that we can inform voters. And that’s why we’re so excited to host this event at Notre Dame because it is that sacred moment in our democracy when we have that discussion.”Though details have yet to be worked out, Jenkins said the debate will take place in the Joyce Center and will involve “elaborate” security preparations. Tickets will be “very limited,” he said, though a specific manner of distributing tickets has not been discerned.The Commission on Presidential Debates, the body that organizes debates and of which Jenkins is a member, considers a variety of topics when selecting a venue. Jenkins said the group tends to favor universities because of their educational mission. In addition to the event at Notre Dame, the vice presidential debate will take place at the University of Utah. The other two presidential debates will take place at the University of Michigan and Belmont University in Nashville.“It’s a public process in which various venues can submit applications,” Jenkins said. “The Commission on Presidential Debates has favored universities because they feel it’s part of the education of young citizens to be part of these debates and to witness them. You’re asked to submit an application — a number of institutions did so. They come and visit your institution, and then they make a decision among their candidates. It has to do with a number of different considerations.”Jenkins praised his team for their work in bringing the event to Notre Dame. He said the school’s experience with major events likely helped its application.“I have to give a compliment to my team … it’s a very complicated logistical enterprise. My team did such a good job in presenting this,” Jenkins said. “We have the advantage of [hosting] 85,000 — 100,000 people, probably — seven times a year for football games, so we know how to do big events. I think the University presented itself very well through my colleagues. … I think that had an influence on the decision.”Jenkins said the debate fits with past Notre Dame efforts to bring in high-level political leaders to campus from various different political backgrounds. According to press literature distributed at the conference, Presidents Franklin Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have previously spoken on campus. President John F. Kennedy was awarded an honorary degree when he was a congressman.“I think our democracy so badly needs a place where we can have serious conversations,” Jenkins said. “Our politics have been taken over by tweets and by slogans. We need to engage seriously about serious topics from across the political spectrum, the whole political spectrum. That has always been the case. We’ve always [brought] leaders from various parties, various figures to talk seriously about issues. I see these debates as a particularly powerful expression of that effort to provide a forum where we can have serious conversations in our democracy about challenges facing us.”Tags: 2020 election, presidential debate, University President Fr. John Jenkins
As the spring harvest approached, members of the Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association knew they would need assistance to provide important information about COVID-19 safety measures and food handling protocols to workers who make up the majority of the seasonal agricultural workforce, many of whom are native Spanish speakers.University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences and Cooperative Extension faculty responded quickly by producing a COVID-19 safety video in Spanish that could be incorporated into farm employee trainings. UGA Extension Southwest District Director Andrea Scarrow, Tift County Extension Agent Justin Hand, and Assistant Professor Laurel Dunn in the UGA Department of Food Science and Technology were a part of the group that spearheaded the effort to quickly produce and distribute the video resources to producers throughout the state.Bill Brim, CEO of Lewis Taylor Farms in Tift County, previously worked with UGA Extension to develop financial education materials in Spanish for temporary workers at the farm, so he knew who to ask when the need for COVID-19 educational materials arose, Scarrow said.“Our growers, both small and large, depend on Extension to get immediate answers and help for all kinds of issues. Mr. Brim knew we had that capacity to develop resources in Spanish so he contacted us for that reason,” Scarrow said. “Our producers are in constant communication with our agriculture agents, they depend on us quite a bit. Our agents are very sensitive to the needs of farmworkers and the large Hispanic population we have in the area that supports farming, so we moved on it as fast as we could.”Working with Beth Oleson, a director of education and food safety for Georgia Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association, UGA Extension recruited the help of UGA Professor Francisco Diez, director of the UGA Center for Food Safety, and his wife, Claudia Buzo, a ServSafe consultant who trains Hispanic restaurant workers, to translate the video scripts and record the video in Spanish.“Dr. Dunn and I work together frequently on food safety issues. Crafting employee safety language was easy, but making sure we included CDC recommendations that seemed to be changing frequently was a challenge,” said Oleson. “Working with Dr. Diez and Buzo really made the video a success. Buzo’s experience with Hispanic employees helped guide the language and examples to make it approachable to the Spanish-speaking audience.”During the COVID-19 crisis, UGA Extension has been actively involved in getting research-based materials from faculty out to farms, packing houses, u-pick farms and other agricultural producers.“We enlisted the help of NC State Extension, which shared a lot of materials they had already translated into Spanish,” Dunn said. “This was great, but we felt we needed audio-visual resources to reach a greater number of Spanish-speaking workers.”Working with Oleson, Dunn developed a general script explaining what the COVID-19 disease is, where it came from, why it is different from other illnesses and why employers would have new safety rules this year.“It also showed workers how to protect themselves, explained why social distancing is important and outlined what modifications employers can and cannot require,” Dunn said.Diez and Buzo, who translated the script into Spanish, said they were happy to help communicate this important message to Spanish-speaking agricultural workers through the video, titled “Lo que necesita saber sobre el coronavirus” (“What you need to know about coronavirus”) available at www.youtube.com/watch?v=ugddqd8N0S4.“My wife and I are originally from Mexico and we are native Spanish speakers. In an urgent situation, such as the one we are in, information like this could make the difference between someone getting sick or not,” Diez said. “We are committed to helping the Hispanic community as much as we can, and many of the migrant workers who come to work on these farms are individuals with only a grade school or middle school education. We wanted to make sure to use simple language and messages so it would be useful and understandable.”The 24-minute video was distributed through the network of UGA Extension offices around the state and shared directly with producers. “This is most of what I do really, it is just the subject matter that changed,” said Dunn, a food microbiologist and Extension specialist. “Producers are used to hearing from me about salmonella and E. coli, so we just switched the message to keeping workers healthy.”The request for the video came in the day before a worker safety production training was to be held at Lewis Taylor Farms, a major agricultural producer in Tift County, so Hand said the UGA team worked throughout the night to get the video ready to show the next morning.“Jessica Kirk, director of food safety and marketing at Lewis Taylor Farms, talked to several of her crew leaders and some of the workers who said the video really helped the workers to understand the situation a lot better,” Hand said. “These workers came into the U.S. from Mexico and they didn’t know how much this had spread or how important safety is to stop the spread of this virus. They said it was easy to understand the video and they appreciated the message.”UGA Extension’s COVID-19 resources in English and Spanish are available at extension.uga.edu/emergencies. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also has print resources in multiple languages, including posters that describe how to stay healthy during this time, how to protect members of your household, proper hygiene and many other topics, available at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/communication/index.html.
ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr continue reading » Charging that any postal banking deal between the U.S. Postal Service and JPMorgan Chase would be an invitation for corruption, the trade group representing the nation’s community banks on Monday asked the Postal Regulatory Commission to investigate reports of such a deal.“Any exclusive arrangement, negotiated behind closed doors, to allow a profit-driven entity to leverage the USPS branch network is a formula for corruption and should be a serious concern to all Americans who care about the integrity of our public institutions,” Rebeca Romero Rainey, president/CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America wrote in a letter to Robert Taub, chairman of the regulatory commission.A Postal Service spokeswoman last week confirmed that there have been discussions of allowing JPMorgan Chase to provide limited banking services in post offices.“To clarify, we had early conversations a while ago about what it might look like to lease space on property for a small handful of ATMs,” the spokeswoman said. “There’s no agreement in place to do so and no imminent plans.” She said those discussions took place before the coronavirus crisis developed.
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Standing barefoot on Omaha Beach, the sand silky soft, the warm waters of the English Channel lapping gently against me, I thought it was a perfect summer day. The sun shone brightly in a clear blue sky. The tide was low, leaving a wide expanse between the sparkling surf and the dark green bluffs past the dunes where a path led to the stairs that would take us back to the American Normandy Cemetery.It’s so hard to imagine that here was where “all hell broke loose” on that bloody gray dawn of D-Day, June 6, 1944. Officially known as Operation Overlord, the Allied invasion of Normandy would be the largest amphibious assault in history. There’d be 5,000 ships of all sizes; 11,000 aircraft and some 156,000 American, British and Canadian soldiers, hitting five beaches along a 50-mile front. Omaha was the bloodiest.In the heat of battle, Col. George Taylor reportedly told his men, “There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here.”My earliest memories of the D-Day invasion were in black and white, because I’d seen the images taken by famed photographer Robert Capa for Life Magazine. What I’ve since learned is that he shot 108 frames when he landed with the soldiers at Omaha Beach, but a lab technician had ruined all but 11 of them in his haste to process them in time for a flight across the Atlantic to the editors in New York. That explains why the surviving ones are slightly out of focus, too.In 1962, Hollywood released its black and white movie about Normandy called The Longest Day, which had a cast that included Sean Connery, Henry Fonda, Robert Mitchum, John Wayne and Richard Burton, to name a few box-office stars. Today’s millennials could re-experience the landing by watching the terrifying opening minutes of Saving Private Ryan, starring Tom Hanks, which came out in 1998.Omaha and Utah were the codenames for the American landings to the west; the British had Gold, Juno and Sword beaches to the east. One of the military goals was to seal off Normandy’s Cotentin peninsula and eventually seize its port, Cherbourg, but by the time the Allies finally captured that city, the Germans had left the harbor in ruins.These days, Normandy thrives on a tourist industry catering to veterans and others who want to remember the war. Today, driving from Omaha Beach to Utah Beach takes about a half hour, but traversing those 47 kilometers through the impenetrable hedgerows of the Bocage region took days of bloody fighting in 1944.In Saint Mere Eglise, you can see a dummy dangling from the church tower high above the central square. Back on D-Day, the GI named John Steele was less conspicuous—and therefore survived—because this paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne Division had gotten his parachute stuck on the tower’s other side when he landed as part of the pre-dawn aerial assault behind enemy lines. In The Longest Day, Steele was played by Red Buttons, a carrot-topped American comic actor born in the Lower East Side who became a top star in the early days of television. His scene is one of the few comedic moments in that very long war movie.Before the Normandy invasion, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower, the supreme commander, was a nervous wreck, smoking up to five packs of cigarettes a day and consuming bottomless cups of coffee. The first week of June the weather had turned bad. A huge storm barreled into the English Channel, churning up the seas with high winds and complicating the coordination plans. He knew there was only a small window when the tidal conditions would be right for the kind of amphibious assault the Allies intended: a low tide rising at daybreak.The remains of Nazi bunkers built by the Germans in Brittany as part of the Atlantic Wall defenses in the years before the Normandy invasion (Long Island Press photo).It was no secret the Allies were coming by sea. Germany’s Nazi ruler, Adolf Hitler, had put Field Marshall Erwin Rommel in charge of stopping the invasion, authorizing him to build the Atlantic Wall, a 2,400-mile fortification of cement bunkers, long-range guns, landmines on telephone poles jutting out of the sand, booby traps underwater, spiked iron staves designed to rip open the hulls of incoming boats, and other metal obstacles that would pin down our men in high or low tide.Rommel knew the invasion was coming but he didn’t know where, or when. The Allies had created a deception, complete with Hollywood-concocted fake tanks and bogus planes, codenamed Operation Fortitude, to make the Germans think Gen. George Patton, whom they regarded as the Allies’ smartest general—a perception he also shared—would cut across between Portsmouth and Calais, the shortest distance between England and France. They wouldn’t dare crossing the widest part of the English Channel, would they? When the storm rolled in, Rommel convinced himself that he could leave his elegant chateau estate near Bayeux and celebrate his wife’s birthday back home in Germany. Today the chateau still stands but it’s in private hands.By June 5, 1944, Gen. Eisenhower had already held back the invasion 24 hours and he didn’t want to delay another day. Many men were already on their ships and landing crafts, getting cold and seasick. He feared that one German surveillance aircraft flying over the Channel might eliminate the element of surprise, which really was one of the only advantages the Allies had. Fortunately, even the Germans had grounded their planes that day because of the weather.Before the troops boarded, each soldier, sailor and airman of the Allied Expeditionary Force had been given a copy of the “Orders of the Day,” a letter Eisenhower had drafted:“You are about to embark upon the Great Crusade, toward which we have striven these many months. The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you. In company with our brave Allies and brother-in-arms on other Fronts, you will bring about the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world.”The plan was to start the invasion at 6:30 a.m. And so it went. Relatively speaking, Utah Beach was a cakewalk, even though Gen. Teddy Roosevelt, Jr., the president’s 57-year-old son, had landed 2,000 yards off target because of the strong currents and the stiff winds. He turned to his men and said, “We’re going to start the war from here.” He faced minimal opposition, as did the Brits and Canadians on their beaches.At Omaha Beach, the Americans ran into a shit storm. The naval bombardment had been cut too short to do any damage to the defenses, and the Allied aircraft had flown too far inland where their bombs did nothing but kill cows and horses. The tanks and bulldozers intended to provide cover on the beach had been released too far from shore and many sank immediately. The first wave of soldiers were too loaded down with heavy packs that impeded their maneuverability. Yet, ahead of them lay hundreds of yards, all under unrelenting enemy fire from crack reinforcements from a German division that had recently been on the Eastern Front fighting the Soviets. Not at all the level of resistance the brass had led them to expect.“The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.”– Gen. EisenhowerWhen the doors of the landing craft opened, the embarking soldiers were exposed to the dark bluffs where the Germans were entrenched in concrete bunkers. It was like shooting ducks in a barrel. Our troops had to wade waist-deep past the dead bodies floating in the incoming water. They had been trained to ignore the cries of the wounded and head straight to the dunes where the Germans held the high ground with their protected artillery. Casualties reached the thousands.By 10:30 a.m., the invasion was going so badly that Gen. Omar Bradley, watching from a ship off shore, wanted to call it off and rescue the remaining men. His German counterpart, looking at the carnage on the beach from his protected bunker on the bluff, came to the same conclusion, sending a message to his commander that the Germans had turned the tide.Both officers were wrong.Today you can walk freely around the most strategic part of Omaha Beach, Pointe du Hoc, where the Germans had their artillery emplacement that enabled them to blow ships out of the Channel and rake our troops on the wide stretch of sandy beach. You can stand at the edge of a 130-foot cliff that our Army Rangers had to climb rapidly in order to knock it out of commission. You don’t hear the machine gun fire, the bombs blasting, just the wind and the sea below, as you try to put yourself in their shoes. When my wife and I were in France this summer, two off-duty U.S. military members and their friend had tackled and subdued a heavily armed man on a high-speed train bound for Paris, reportedly “breaking up what could have been a deadly terrorist attack.”Childhood friends from Sacramento, Calif., the three Americans were enjoying the ride through Belgium when they heard a gunshot. Twenty-three-year-old Airman First Class Spencer Stone—a great name if I do say so myself—ran and tackled the gunman. His pal Army Spc. Alek Skarlatos, 22, a member of the Oregon National Guard, who had been deployed in Afghanistan, grabbed the assailant’s AK-47 rifle while their friend Anthony Sadler, 23, a student at Sacramento State University, assisted them.The gunman was a 25-year-old Moroccan man named Ayoub El-Khazzani, whom French intelligence officials said belonged to “the radical Islamist movement.” He’d emerged from an onboard restroom heavily armed when an unnamed French man trying to enter confronted him. That’s when the first shot rang out and the Americans sprang into action.French President Francois Hollande wanted to personally thank them for their bravery in an official ceremony at the Elysee Palace. When they later met President Obama in the Oval Office, he said they represented “the very best of America and the American character.”“They were thinking they were just going to have a fun reunion in Paris and ended up engaging in a potentially cataclysmic situation,” Obama said at the White House. “Because of their courage, because of their quick thinking, because of their teamwork, it’s fair to say a lot of people were saved, and a real calamity was averted.”The news of their courage made me think of my sons back home who are around their age. Then I got to thinking of the brave soldiers landing on Normandy Beach who once were their age as well. When I was in my early 20s, I was protesting the Vietnam War because I was draft age. Years later, my ex-brother-in-law, who fought in the dense jungles around Da Nang, forgave me. I don’t know what I would have done in the heat of battle, and I hope I never find out.But I do know that this summer was a good time to be an American in Paris.An angry Donald Trump glaring from the front page of France’s Liberation newspaper with the tagline: “The American Nightmare.”The Allies had liberated the City of Light in August, 1945. My wife and I arrived 70 years later. As we got off the train from Nice, the beautiful city overlooking the French Riviera, the first newsstand I saw had a rack of angry Donald Trumps glaring from the front page of France’s Liberation newspaper. It was the quintessential “ugly American,” and I was taken aback because I hadn’t thought about his presidential campaign for weeks.But he wasn’t the only Yankee the French seemed to be thinking about in August. Plastered on walls all around Paris were posters of JFK and Jackie. It turned out to be a promotional campaign for a photo exhibit devoted to the Kennedys. When we saw the show on a Sunday afternoon, about two dozen people were packed into the gallery’s upstairs room watching a French documentary recounting the president’s assassination.From left to right: The view from Pointe du Hoc overlooking Omaha Beach in Normandy, France; a sign at the U-Boat Memorial in Camaret-sur-Mer and one of the remaining Nazi artillery canons.In January, the big news in France was about Charlie Hebdo, the satirical weekly, whose offices had been attacked by armed gunmen allegedly angered over the publication’s depiction of the Prophet Mohammad. Twelve staffers had been slain, including the editor. As offensive as the publication deliberately was, it was a bastion of free speech.We didn’t plan to visit the site of the massacre but we did come upon a packed opening one night for the Galerie Glenat in the Marais district featuring renderings of Titeuf, a well-known French cartoon character of a kid with a bright yellow tuft of hair sticking out of his head. On the wall was a Charlie Hebdo magazine cover by an illustrator named Luz, which showed an adolescent Titeuf wearing a backpack facing his mirror image with a yellow beard who had an AK-47 on his back. The latter one says, “I have jihad tomorrow.” His schoolboy friend replies, “You have it good. I have math.” For the exhibit, Luz had dropped red ink on one corner of the cover. It was a subtle reminder of the blood shed that day.When we went to Notre Dame, like so many tourists before us, we learned there’d been a ceremony honoring surviving American veterans of WW II that very morning. They were long gone from the cathedral by then. But knowing they had been welcomed for their service decades ago still resonated in the air.And on this Veterans Day, 70 years after the end of the Great War, it’s the right time to pay tribute to all the soldiers who’ve gone before and honor the ones who survive.On the eve of D-Day, just as he was about to board his ship, Keith Douglas, a 24-year-old British poet, started a poem he called “Actors in the Wings,” and it had this stanza: “Everyone, I suppose, will use these minutes to look back, to hear music and to recall what we were doing and saying that year during our last few months as people, near the sucking mouth of the day that swallowed us all into the stomach of war.”He never wrote another line. He was killed by a mortar round a few days after landing in Normandy.
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