The Longest Day
Today, June 6th is the sixty-first anniversary of the day known to history as D Day. On this day in 1944 the Allied armies landed the largest seaborne invasion in history and our Canadian Forces were front and centre on Juno Beach, in the Atlantic Ocean of the coast of Normandy France and in the skies above.
Damian Brooks at Babbling Brooks has posted a wonderful commentary on today's commemoration. Go read it.
Our military personnel suffered over 1,600 casualties on that Longest Day. We were to suffer many, many, more before Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan were defeated in 1945. My father served in the Royal Canadian Air Force as a sergeant air gunner. My mother's brother, Private Don Campbell, served in the Canadian army and left a leg behind somewhere in Holland. They were the fortunate ones who survived the war.
Solemn the drums thrill; Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres,
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.
They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted;
They fell with their faces to the foe.
They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
excerpt from For The Fallen by
Laurence Binyon (1869-1943)