Normandy and D Day

This month is the 65th anniversary of the D Day landings in France and on June 6th, as a kind of remembrance, I watched the film Overlord.

The film brought back memories of my visit to Normandy late last year.  Walking over the ground where the landings happened was very eerie and moving.

Utah Beach Normandy
Utah Beach Normandy

We are gradually becoming removed from human contact with the Second World War as its survivors age and pass away.

And we’ve already lost our last human connection to World War I in Australia, with the recent passing of our last living veteran Jack Ross.

But the physical landscape remembers these dreadful battles – you can still see the scars from D-Day in Normandy.  And the impact on the people who fought remains with them forever. My own grandfather suffered both physical and psychological damage from his service in North Africa & the Pacific for the rest of his life.

Although Australian forces were not involved on the ground in the D-Day landings (they were busy fighting in North Africa and the Pacific) some of our Air Force personnel participated.

It was interesting to hear President Obama speak at the memorial service in Normandy. I was moved, as were many of the veterans in the audience, by his words:

Friends and veterans, we cannot forget. What we must not forget is that D-Day was a time and a place where the bravery and the selflessness of a few was able to change the course of an entire century.