Saturday, 7 June 2014

Normandy return!

My heart warmed this morning to the story of the man who gave his care home the slip in order to get to the Normandy landing commemoration yesterday!
I have no idea why they tried to stop him from going...presumably they thought it might kill him.....or at very least hurt him in some way!
The fact that he got there on his own suggests that both mentally and physically he was able to do it!
My brother in law did this return every year. It was extremely important to him at this time of the year. It wasn't just a way of celebrating a victory, it was a meeting of old friends and he always visited the farm where he had found a safe haven all those years ago.
Even when he was slightly infirm physically his brain was clear.....he had to go. Sadly he died a few years ago..but I bet he was there in spirit, cheering on his old friends and revisiting the welcoming farm where he had stayed whilst searching for the Germans who had taken over the country....
This need to remember is much the same as the Dunkirk Little Ships society who make the return across the channel in the same spirit of remembrance and the celebration of the human spirit . When David was its commodore he led the return to mark the amazing armada of small boats rescuing men from certain death on the beach.
It's hard now for us to understand just how desperate the situation was. Here in the common market our former enemies are our friends and allies.
The men's need to mark their extraordinary journeys across the channel should not be thought of as an anti German move....it is the celebration of the time in their youth when heroism was needed and celebrated and the survivors who lived through it all were indeed the heroes . There is also the need to remember those who were killed or injured in the fighting.  . Seventy years on they still are...still people to be cheered and be grateful to...
They made the country we live in today safe. They really did give their tomorrow's for our todays.

1 comment:

  1. It was moving to watch yesterdays ceremonies, I'd have liked it to feature more on the veterans than the VIP's, particularly the politics being commented on.

    No one but those who were physically there can appreciate the hardships, danger and terror involved, Seeing friends killed all around them and still continuing to function.

    I've never been in a real war like WW2, although I've served on active service several times when much younger. I can recall the mixture of excitement, determination underlaid with fear of getting things wrong that ran through you in difficult situations. And the sadness and grief felt when one of your own was injured or died. The thing was not a feeling of wanting revenge, just a determination to sort out what was going on to stop more lives being lost needlessly.

    I came away I believe undamaged, some people who served alongside me were not so fortunate and some time later developed post traumatic stress, which is perhaps the biggest issue effecting ex-service people, from both world wars and the modern wars that we've been fighting on and off since WW2.

    It's a fact that a large proportion of the prison population consists of former service people and quite a high proportion of the homeless in our communities are also ex-service, most with mental health problems stemming from their service.

    The great untold story of our time.

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