Yesterday I had a senior moment. I attended a 75 year acknowledgement of D Day. It was a military operation that took almost two years to plan and swung World War Two in our favor.
My Father in Law resides in a Veteran’s residence, which is why I was there. There were probably 125 Veterans in attendance, and not really sure how many would have taken part in the operation, but my guess would have been 10 to 12. I tried to imagine what they were like at 20 years old. Landing on the beaches, watching buddies and troop mates get wounded or even worse get killed. I then thought back and saw myself at 20 years old. I could not envision myself doing something so brave, so courageous. I looked around the room and wondered what they were doing when they were twenty. Hanging around the service clubs, listening to Miller, Dorsey, and Harry James, knowing full well they may not come back from their next mission. Maybe it was a romantic vision they had of war. We are going over to fight the Nazi’s and free the world. These men came from time when questioning military action was not the norm. It was their duty. My Mother had three Cousins who took part in D Day. One passed due to phenomena because he spent too much time in the water .Two made it home, but according to her they were never really the same.
As for my Father, he spent time in Holland, Germany, and Belgium. Not really sure what he did, because he never really spoke about it. My Father in Law was a Cartographer and made maps for the troops. All he said was it had to be done right, because if it was not people died. He was twenty-two, a year younger than my Son. So young, so much responsibility to take on.
The most telling part of the evening was when the band played a Glenn Miller tune. A man who was well into his ninety’s got up and danced. It was if he was taken back seventy five years. I could see him as a young man in uniform dancing the jitter bug with a young lady knowing full well it could the last dance. I can honestly say it brought tears to my eyes.
As we left the hall, I made a point to thank the Vets who were nearby for their service. If it was not for them and thousands of others, we would not be able to enjoy the life we have today.