Today marks the 70th anniversary of the Normandy D-Day landings; words can not do justice to the brave souls who gave their all on the 6th of June, 1944.
We owe them everything and I am very thankful that I had the privilege to know some World War 2 veterans growing up.
Mr Bill Sutton lived three doors away from my childhood home and was a paratrooper in Arnhem which saw vicious losses for the parachute regiment.
I also remember Mr Warner fondly, he lived down my road and was a delightful old soul who used to lift me over his head whenever he saw me (yes, I was tiny enough to do that once).
Both men saw unimaginable horrors during their service, but were kind, gentle and humble to the extreme; it makes me immensely sad that we are seeing the end of this exceptional generation.
My greatest influence growing up was Private Alfred George Martin of His Majesty’s Royal Marine Commando’s, service number X107630.
Joe (as I knew him) “did his bit”; or as history shows, he and other Royal Marine Commandos were sent in before the main landing party to take out key German fortifications and guns.
Today, I honour his legacy and the countless others who served in World War 2; the vast majority of which were never boastful, never glamorised their “contribution” in the pursuit of freedom.
I am only sad that I can not be on the beaches today to pay my respects and meet the surviving veterans;
My trip to Normandy back in April 2011 (https://antikrish.com/2011/04/17/normandy/) was a very humbling experience and it will be a sad day when the last of this magnificent generation are no more.
“A man does what he must – in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures – and that is the basis of all human morality.”
Lest we forget.