By Isabella @TheWandCarver
It was eleven years before I was born. And, as I have looked back over history it is no small wonder that I was born at all. My father was fighting against Germany. He had already been fighting since the war began and he was not very young when he joined compared to most young men. Still, he was fighting all that time…but he and his men were very tired, and it seemed help might never come.
Then, came D-Day [codename: Operation Overlord].
Dad was in France when the troupes from the world over, Britain, America, Australia, Canada, and more, came that day, but he was not at Normandy Beach. He did not see the horror that ensued as the men came off their American-made Higgins boats, boats flat and with a drop-front, easy to off load troupes and tanks, and many men were shot down seconds after landing. The sea was red with blood. I have seen the re-enactments in films, and I could not imagine how scared and how brave they were. Someone had said “Bravery is seeing the man in front of you being shot down but getting off the boat anyway”. That may not be the exact quote and I don’t know who to attribute it to, but yeah, that is about it. Over 9,000 Allied troupes were killed or wounded in a small matter of time. Still, over 100,000 men went on to march across France to help see off Mr Hitler.
Dad had ended up in a field hospital with shrapnel from some kind of flying metal object when parachuting in. It cut a perfect “V” on his shin. He always took that as an omen. V for Victory. They were there to secure bridges for the coming invasion. This was one of only a small handful of “war stories” he ever gave me.
The rest, as they say, is history. It took a while, but the Allied invasion was the beginning of the end for fascism… at least for a while and at least to this degree.
My father is sadly no longer with us, having passed on in 2000. Sadly, he was one of the ones who never talked much about his part in the war. Just bits and pieces and never anything regarding the bad things… of which there were many. I would have liked to have learned more about it all from his perspective, not that I am one to glorify war in any way, not at all. Still, this war happened, and my father was a part of it, so why should I not hold interest? I am very proud of the role he played and for the six long, embattled years he spent defending the UK, Belgium, Italy, and France – everywhere [!] from the tyranny of Adolf Hitler. And, I am thankful not only to Dad but for every man and woman who fought, spied, and worked out encoded messages; because of them, we are still free.
Say a word of thanks today.
Many thanks for reading and please feel free to comment. Warmest blessings to all whom this way wander x