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Thoughts About D-Day

Today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day.

I’ve grown up seeing the black and white footage of young men jumping off boats and into freezing water and flying bullets.

I’ve been moved by the brilliant cinematography and storytelling of Band of Brothers and Saving Private Ryan.

I’ve even played it on the PlayStation.

But I am reminded that history is real and made by the lives of real people.

I am reminded that my own Granddad landed somewhere along that 50 mile stretch of coast line in the days which followed D-Day.

A couple of years ago I went to Normandy and visited war memorials with graves stretched out around me and I read the names of men who gave their lives.

I stood on some of the beaches and tried to imagine being there on June 6, 1944, with all that carnage going on.

How did it really feel to give your life there and how did it really feel to survive it? I can feel something but I cannot really know.

I’ve tried to do the maths and fathom the price paid but it doesn’t add up. Human blood has incalculable worth.

I’ve tried to imagine how now would look if history had been different and if bravery had not been so monumental and sacrifice not so freely given.

I’ve wondered but I cannot truly comprehend this.

All I am left with is to give my gratitude to every allied soldier who landed on those beaches 70 years ago. Thank you.

Here are some photos I took when I visited.

Rosaleen Donnan

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