Saturday, 7 June 2014

D Day commemoration 2014

You'd have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by the D Day commemorative services that took place on 6th June.

Seeing the veterans, proudly wearing their medals, some of them meeting up for the first time in years, brought a tear to my eye as I'm sure it did to many others.

Then there was the lovely story about 89-year old war veteran Bernard Jordan who went missing from his care home in Hove, only to be found safe and sound in Normandy with his comrades.  He was determined to be there and had made his own way when he couldn't get a place on the accredited Royal British Legion trip. 

The second world war is a distant memory for most people now.  Yet we owe these people so much, for without them our lives today would be very different.  The bravery, sacrifice, fear - it's hard for us in the modern day to comprehend.

I asked my Dad about his memories of the war, as he was a young boy living locally at the time.

He remembers the American B-17s flying over his house en-route to the airfield at Grafton Underwood.  He and his brother would watch them flying out and then watch them returning - they could see the bullet holes in the planes as they flew overhead on their homeward journey.

Like a lot of people in this area, my grandfather worked in Stewart & Lloyds on the PLUTO (pipeline under the ocean) project.  He didn't know, as everything was kept top secret, but the pipeline was to supply fuel to the advancing British troops in Europe.  

Last week when a Dakota flew low over our house en-route to Normandy it caused much excitement, and I also love to see the Lancaster, Hurricane and Spitfire from the Battle of Britain Memorial flight when they fly over too. 

I'm just glad I'm able to see them in peacetime, and that their presence is a source of joy, not fear.  For that we must thank all the brave people who fought for our freedom; we will remember them.

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