Many of you may have family who fought and died bravely during this most epic time in our world. Today is a day to remember and honour them.
Last month, I had the pleasure of visiting France. I knew I couldn’t go all the way to France without visiting Normandy and particularly the beaches. As a proud Canadian, I felt it my duty to visit Juno Beach and honour the 25,000 Canadians who brought great pride to their country in seizing Juno beach and playing an instrumental part in liberating Europe. I often preach to my children the importance of understanding their history, not only their own ancestral history but the history of our country both here and abroad. After visiting Normandy, it only reassured my feelings, and I only wish that every man, women and child walked the beaches of Normandy.
I also preach to my children the importance of voting, a privilege we take for granted. While I was in Paris, a new Prime Minister was voted into power. It was amazing to watch the celebrations that took place in the streets.The metro filled with youth as they made their way through the city to celebrate the occasion.
The French often turn out in high numbers to vote. I feel like the French understand their history. They understand the importance of asserting their voice which they have done often in the past. We can look at 1789 as a turning point for the French, the climax of the French Revolution when on July 14th the people of Paris stormed the Bastille. The Bastille was a medieval fortress and prison. It represented royal authority and the masses stormed the prison releasing prisoners and beginning a shift in France from a monarchy to a democracy. July 14th is now a public holiday know as Bastille Day.
|Andy on Omaha Beach|
And those thousands of youth who piled into the metro station this past May with my husband I….. where were they going….The Bastille. They honour their history, their ancestors, they take to the streets and they cast their ballots.
We need to do the same. We need to make the sacrifices our ancestors paid personal, we need to make them matter.When you walk the beaches of our soldiers, when you see it up close and in person you will never again dismiss the freedoms we enjoy.
|Andy on Juno Beach|
|Juno Beach - individual memorial to fallen soldier|
|Beny-Sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery|
|Flags at Juno Beach|
Do you have a family member who served in the D-Day invasion or WWII? Feel free to leave their name in comments below as a tribute to their memory.