D-Day

Trip Start Jul 11, 2009
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4
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Trip End Jul 25, 2009


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Flag of Canada  , Ontario,
Friday, July 10, 2009

Here we are waiting to get going... just like the thousands of troops of June 5, 1944 as they waited (not really, but I'm still anxious to get going!) ...we will soon invade the beaches of Normandy. I am sure that our landing will be a great deal less eventful and hopefully significantly safer. I am not usually a nervous flyer, but there have been plenty of stories in the news lately about planes going down.

Enough of that nonsense!

I just finished a great book. "Juno" by Ted Barris. I highly recommend it if you are at all interested in the Canadian involvement in the D-Day invasion. It is very well written and gives great attention to the personal anecdotes of several service men from various perspectives. It is the personal stories that really make it hit home. The biggest overall impression that this book made on me was the utter magnitude and incredible coordination of effort by the Allied forces. Years of planning, inventing, engineering, building, training and re-training people and equipment on land, sea and in the air from several different countries... all co-ordinated to land on the beaches of Normandy to liberate France and ultimately drive Hitler's forces out of occupied Europe! It is absolutely astounding... and all this before internet and satellites! At the end of the book it talks about the movement to preserve the stories of the Canadians' involvement in World War II through the building of the Juno Beach Centre at Cousedulles-sur-Mer. A delegation of over a thousand Canadian veterans opened the centre on the 59th Anniversary of D-Day. I could certainly identify with one daughter's recollection that returning to Juno Beach with her Dad in 2003 was quite an eye opener. "He never talked about the war," Penny Adair said, "but he never threw anything away, the newspaper clippings, the diaries, pictures....We brought them with us. We thought we should bring his story here." (page 270) There are so many stories! I have been hearing more of them lately from my Dad. He was in supply and transport, working behind the lines to support the troops up front by driving up petrol, food and ammunition. He was not part of the D-Day invasion, but rather was involved in Italy at the time. He recalls some events like the battle of Monte Casino like they were yesterday, although he often struggles to remember just what did happen yesterday. Old age is merciless! Well I had better get going. I've got a job to do and I am going to get it done. More later...
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