SEVENTY years ago this past weekend, barbed wire was removed from the local coast. After five years of war, the authorities were confident enough to let people back onto the beaches.

On the anniversary of that day, tens of thousands enjoyed the sands in sweltering weather. Many others took part in carnivals, festivals and the Bourne Free celebration of diversity.

It was a reminder that whatever challenges the world faces, most people enjoy a prosperity and freedom that would once have been unimaginable. Many of us were even raising a glass to Germany ahead of the World Cup final.