Today (June 6th) marks the 75th anniversary of one of the most bloody conflicts Canada has ever been part of. Over 400 thousand Allied forces attacked German strongholds along the beaches of Normandy. Scores of young men lost their lives as they stormed the beaches. Men as young as 18, 19, and 20 looked death in the face and made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. Imagine for a moment being that young, seeing death all around, and you have to plunge forward for the cause. I’m sure most of us would think “how the heck did they do it?”
It’s days like this that remind us of our own families and and those who serve, or have served, in our armed forces. I think all of us have a parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, great uncle, brother, sister, or aunt who served in World War 1 or 2, Korea, or even Afghanistan. It reminds us of the bravery they faced and they continue to face today. We are all incredibly proud of our family members who have served and are spell bound by the stories they feel comfortable sharing. My family had four men serve in the world wars, one of which wrote letters to my grandmother recounting his time in Europe. While he never talked about the serious stuff he was involved in he did talk about his time, his friends, and where they had been while fighting. They are fascinating letters to read to this day.
Thanks to all our armed forces both past and present for the hardships they have endured (and their families) so that we can have it better back on the home front. There aren’t many men left now from D-Day 75 years ago so cherish those that are still with us, listen to them, respect them, and be proud of them. Let’s hope we never have to repeat history.
(photo by Gloria Evans)