A Time to Remember
Several days ago I travelled to the Landing Beaches in Normandy, France. I haven’t had the time to write about the experience until now. Which as it turns out is rather perfect because today is June 6th D-Day; the 68th Anniversary.
The night before they played the movie The Longest Day. It was the first time I had seen it and watched through new eyes, learning by way of Hollywood, things I didn’t remember from history class. (oops sorry Mr. Powell!)
The Landing Beaches, Canadian and American alike; Omaha, Gold, Juno, Utah and Sword were all wide open stretches of sand with no cover. It took so many brave men to make a difference in this war on this special day in our history. So many on both sides died here 68 years ago. Now the beach fronts have homes dotted along them and the wind and water has created sand dunes with wild grasses making it up to our imagination to understand the magnitude of what happened.
Juno Beach Museum is a private museum funded by private donations from Canadian citizens and companies. After glimpsing the American Museums on Omaha and Gold Beach, we were appalled to discover our Canadian Government was NOT supporting ours.
A sad truth!
We visited the Canadian Soldier Cemetery and it for me was the most emotional. One of my tour passengers found the grave of his 22 year old uncle and along with his friends many tears were shed. We were given roses to place on the crosses. Although I had no family in the cemetery I found a cross of an unknown soldier which seemed lonely and therefore fitting for me to place my rose.
Many young people died on both sides of this war. I wonder what we have learned from it?
I know that I live a life of freedom; an educated and happy woman because of the kids who gave their lives.
All I can say these many years later is Thank you.
So many of our veterans are dying of old age. Remembrance Day will be a different experience for me now because of this visit to France. I will go to the celebration so I can remember and let those left know their mission on June 6th, 1944 and the days that lead up to and the days after; were not in vain.
A day full of beauty, tragedy, and tears … a day and a time to remember.
Historically Yours, Kat