Today I will be reposting an entry that I made last year on this day. It was actually on my personal blog but it was one of the first political posts that I had ever done and was a precursor to my lauching this site later in the year. My pilgrimage to Normandy and the battlefields of Europe was a key moment in my life and it is one element from which I gain the perspective that I “strive for” on this blog.
Rome was liberated on June 4, 1944 and, of course, on June 6, D-Day, the Allies invaded Normandy and started the liberation of western Europe.
It’s hard to understand what those soldiers were fighting for 60 years ago. If you look at it historically and politically, if they had failed on D-Day, the Russian/Soviet Army could very well have gotten to Berlin way before the Allies… with the possible result of communist rule spreading through most, if not all, of Europe.
The soldiers then could not have predicted that outcome though..
Every Canadian soldier who participated in WWII did so as a volunteer. They were not forced to join the fight, they simply did because they believed they were protecting their way of life and their families and were willing to give their life for that.
That is why I try to remember them. They showed a measure of bravery that I can only write about.
I had the priviledge of visiting Dieppe, Vimy Ridge, and a village on Juno Beach (Courseilles-Sur-Mer) last summer at this time.
It is hard to describe the feeling you get when visiting these places. The serenity and beauty of the cemetaries takes your breath away. The majesty of the Canadian monument at Vimy Ridge gives you goosebumps. The gratitude of the residents of these small French villages makes your heart burst with pride and humility. It is quite overwhelming.
If you ever have the opportunity to visit France, I urge you to see one of these places. They are easy to get to by train and you will never forget them. I took a ferry from the UK to Dieppe. And took a train from there to Arras and Normandy.
Feel free to look at my pictures from last year. [You can access them here]… following the links on the left to “Dieppe”, “Arras” (Vimy Ridge), and “Courseilles sur Mer”.