Below is an email from our Chesterfield Branch Manager – Previously Sergeant Robert Wilson. He sends out an email each year to commemorate and remember those who served in the war, and puts it better than we could.
Good Morning All,
If you are not aware today is the 70th anniversary of D-Day, a major event in history that enables us to live the way we do today. For anyone who does not know much about it I have put a brief outline below and a couple of poems that sum it up pretty well. It is amazing to think that 70 years ago today Operation Overlord took place, Just imagine, If we were alive in 1944 we would have all been playing a part today instead of sat at our desks worrying and stressing about work, Kind of puts life into perspective a bit
· June 6th 1944,
· 175,000 men, a fleet of 5,000 ships and landing craft, 50,000 vehicles, and 11,000 planes,
· In the early morning darkness of June 6, thousands of Allied paratroopers and glider troops landed silently behind enemy lines, securing key roads and bridges on the flanks of the invasion zone.
· As dawn lit the Normandy coastline the Allies began their amphibious landings,
· They assaulted five beaches, code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno, and Sword.
· By nightfall nearly all the Allied soldiers were ashore at a cost of 10,000 American, British, and Canadian casualties.
· Hitler’s vaunted Atlantic Wall had been breached in less than one day
· Operation Overlord was not just another great battle, but the true turning point of WWII in Western Europe.
Bullets fly by like the firefly
Don’t stop or you’ll die
The icy waters of Normandy
Numbs the pain the eye can’t see
Keep your gun clean and your head down
Crawl your way up through the blood and all
This was the way I saw it then
I say never again
I can still hear the bullets zip by
Then there was the battle cry
To you they seem like long ago
To me they are there on my pillow
So here it be i am 93
And these horrible memories are ever close to me
Ryan was saved to live and be free
Without him there would be no movie
To make a movie of such a time
Makes me wonder why we held the line
No rehearsal could have opened our eyes
To what the enemy had in disguise
A night of brutality there by the sea
Now brought to all thanks to film and TV
For many to sit in comfort and say
We owe much to these young men who died that day
There seems to be a riddle
Here in front of me
You at home with snacks in hand
Watching my comrades die in the cold sand