I received a nice email from the D-Day Foundation thanking me for reaching out and assuring me that the tour was not up to spec, they have a good relationship with NPS, and that they will have a chat with the tour guide.
Below is the text (with the tour guide's name redacted and pronouns non-gendered) of an email I sent to the D-Day Memorial folks on Wednesday. They haven't answered, so I'm guessing the tour I got is sanctioned by the organization.
I am writing regarding my visit to the Memorial on Sunday, June 5, 2022. My wife and I joined the 1 PM tour led by (redacted). Although their knowledge of the Memorial and the stories of the heroes memorialized there are unimpeachable, their constant anti-government editorializing throughout the tour was distracting, inappropriate, and outright factually incorrect.
At the first stop, they made several snide references to the anti-Christian attitude of the National Park Service, going so far as to state we should be happy that the D-Day Memorial is run by the foundation and not the NPS, as they would erase all mention of God or the bible in the Memorial. Denigrating an entire agency of Federal employees, at a site dedicated to remembering over 3000 Federal employees that were killed in war, is outright offensive. It’s also factually incorrect. I have personally seen bibles, chaplains kits, and other religious artifacts displayed at NPS sites related to the Civil War. Almost every letter home from a Civil War participant displayed by the NPS references God. Those letters have not been censored.
At the plaque memorializing General Eisenhower’s Order of the Day for June 5, they stated that the NPS had removed the final sentence referencing God from the WWII Memorial in DC. That is technically correct, since the designer of the Memorial reduced that entire 90 second speech down to 2 sentences. However, that wasn’t the point they were making. They very clearly implied the NPS removed the reference to God and only the reference to God.
Further, they also stated the NPS removed all references to God from the MLK Memorial. It’s an almost 200 feet high Granite Memorial to an ordained minister, and the website identifies him as a minister in the 2nd sentence of the biography page (https://www.nps.gov/mlkm/learn/historyculture/people.htm). I’m not sure what else they are supposed to do. The inscription, “We are determined here in Montgomery to work and fight until justice runs down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream,” on the North wall of the Memorial references an actual bible verse. If we are hiding Dr. King’s Christian influences, we are apparently hiding them in plain sight.
Their presentation of the events and facts of D-Day were peppered with bible and Christian references, as though they considers D-Day a religious crusade, and not a meticulously planned military operation that went wrong in many ways, except for the actual results.
I don’t know if (redacted) was editorializing out of turn, or if that is the presentation that we would have seen from any other tour guide. However, to be safe if anybody asks, I’ll advise them to skip the tour.