Yesterday the Western world took pause to reflect on the 70th anniversary of D-day. It was, considering the way of the world now, a respectful event. In particular the memorial held in France.
I particularly loved the report than an 89-year-old man, told by his care home staff he couldn't go, snuck out and went anyway. Good on you mate and shame on the care home staff forgetting they are dealing with adults who would rather risk an all important journey like this than sit vegetating.
Read today that the actor who played the original Scotty in Star Trek was shot six times, losing part of a finger in the process. He was part of the Canadian forces. There have been so many humbling yet amazing stories from heroes who never thought of themselves as anything other than ordinary young men doing their duty.
My own thoughts yesterday - the men known cruelly as the D-Day Dodgers. Fighting an equally brutal battle in Italy. I think my dad must have been stationed in Bari with the RAF at the time. He had plenty of tales of his own, rarely recounted but devastating when he did, therefore I know the places he went (Burma, North Africa, Italy) but the only one I could possibly put a date on was that he was in North Africa when the Italians capitulated.
He recalled lying in a ditch with some of the crew while a large part of the Italian army stationed there marched past. They didn't know the Italians were going to surrender so spent the whole time thinking that if they were found that would be it. To experience such things as a teenager and then a young man - he was only five years older than my sons are now when he signed up.