So much owed by so many to so few

Today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day. That’s right. 70th. World War Two is fading in our collective mind, a long ago battle fought with ancient, outdated weapons.

The least we can do is to remember these brave people who fought for the freedom of future generations, and beat the evil Nazi war machine. They deserve honouring.

Today is also the birthday of my mum. She was a little 6 year old in 1944. She thought war was the normal life of people, with air raids, food rationing, loss of life. She was always terrified that a bomb would fall on her house and kill her family.

Her father, my grandad, had fought in World War One, so he was too old to fight again. He was a Fire Warden, keeping watch and organising people to put out any fires which occurred after bombing.

Her mother, my grandma, made do with rations, constantly scraping food together, the ‘make do and mend’ survival mode. To this day, my mum will not waste a morsel of food, it all gets made into soup or stew or gravy or curry.

When the war ended, my little mum was astounded. Suddenly there were no more air raids, no more bombs. People danced in the streets, happy and relieved. Men came home from battle, and gradually began to smile again. She realised life can be peaceful.

But she has never forgotten what it was like. When she gave birth to me, long after the war had ended, she was relieved that I wasn’t a boy and would never have to go to war and fight.

 

From the BBC website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-27727518

‘Validated sacrifices’

Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall are attending a Royal British Legion service at Bayeux Cathedral.

Right Reverend Nigel McCulloch, national chaplain of the Royal British Legion, helped lead the service.

He said: “What you achieved here in Normandy and beyond validated the sacrifices made earlier in the war by thousands who, like my father, were killed in action”.

He added that the “self-concern and love for others” shown by those involved in D-Day “is the route of human justice, freedom and peace”.

In a reading at the cathedral, Brigadier David Baines MBE spoke of men who died “with no memorial”.

 

D-Day 70th anniversary: World leaders gather for ceremony

World leaders are joining hundreds of veterans in Normandy to mark the 70th anniversary of the D-Day landings.

Heads of state will meet at Ouistreham, one of the five beaches where Allied troops landed on 6 June 1944.

French President Francois Hollande will give a speech followed by US President Barack Obama. The Queen and Russian President Vladimir Putin will also go.

There will be a re-enactment of the landings, which were the start of the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe.

By the end of D-Day, the Allies had established a foothold in France – an event that would eventually help bring the war to an end.

D-Day veteran Victor Walker D-Day veteran Victor Walker, 88, is among those attending the remembrance service at Bayeux Cathedral
What was D-Day?
A landing barge, tightly packed with helmeted soldiers, approaches the shore at Normandy, France, on D-Day.

On 6 June 1944, British, US and Canadian forces invaded the coast of northern France in Normandy.

The landings were the first stage of Operation Overlord – the invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe – and were intended to end World War Two.

Portsmouth’s D-Day Museum says as many as 4,413 Allied troops died on the day of the invasion – more than previously thought.

By the end of D-Day, the Allies had established a foothold in France. Within 11 months Nazi Germany was defeated, as Soviet armies swept in from the east and captured Hitler’s stronghold in Berlin.

 

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