Yesterday was the commemoration of the 70 anniversary of the allied D Day landings. I’ll be honest those kind of big ceremonial things don’t float my boat really but… I found it poignant that the day before I was concerned about freedom of speech in a way and basically you know what? I’ll take the snippy comment anyday over having to live in a society dictated by fear and institutionalised loathing of other people who happen to have different beliefs to me or a different accent, language, religion or skin colour. A black president making a speech at that event hit me like a rock – how much is that day directly responsible for that man being the leader of such a great democracy.
Those to really remember were those that weren’t able to be there – those who never left those beaches. My wife’s Granddad was a gunner with the artillery in a 25 pounder crew in the first wave onto the beach after it was “secured” by the infantry. He died some years ago – he only spoke once to me about that day 20 years ago at the 50th anniversary when he stated he did not want to be there. He told me how he lost half the crew before they were out of the water. How they partnered up with some others who’s gun was unusable and started shelling only to come under fire instantly. He lost another half the crew. He got to the edge to the beach and was commandeered into another crew who had lost most of the crew getting 200 yards up the beach. I’ve never seen such anger, fear and sadness in a man’s face. He looked at me and said “Just pray you never have to fight another war like that one”.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.