Unforgettable Normandy D-Day Celebrations
27th February 2016
... Comments

I'm glad we got up in plenty of time to make the 10am start outside the Marie (town hall building which is in every French village). Rene greeted us and introduced us to other Mayors from all over Normandy, as well as other French dignitaries. He then turned to an American family who had flown over specially for this ceremony. Apparently the oldest member of this family, Mr Timm, was to be presented with a medal of honour on this day, for a good deed he had done for the village. He had come over with his wife, daughter and grandchildren. Quite an experience since none of the rest of the family had been to Europe before.

The next thing I remember seeing was a uniformed Frenchman with a huge drum strapped to his stomach. We were then asked to march with the Americans and all the other well dressed dignitaries from the Marie to the local church. By this time the street had become lined with people, all clapping and cheering as we passed them marching in a long line behind the uniformed drummer. It was nerve tingling with this loud bellowing drum beat and the excitement and emotion of the local people. It obviously meant so much, especially to the older generation of Rene's age group who had their homes possessed by the Germans and who had experienced extreme hardship. It was a special moment I will never forget. However, I did feel unworthy as I had not fought in this horrible war or experienced their hardship but I thought to myself I would be representing my Granddad who had spent six years away fighting and was never the same man when he returned.

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Martin D

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