Last summer at the end of our holiday in France, my family and I went to Bayeux and the Normandy beaches. We loved the City, the Cathedral was ‘immense’ according to Jacob and the Museum of the Battle of Normandy was quite a sobering but life affirming place. This was brought completely into perspective today as we watched events of the 75th anniversary of the D-Day landing on the BBC.

The boys talked about ‘those massive things’ that were on the beach at Arromanches but the stories of the men who gave their lives for us in Normandy and what courage that must have taken them was what I thought about more.

Does courage mean the same thing now? Do we take the same risks that they did for the causes that we believe in? My Great Uncle was one of the men who crossed over to France as part of Operation Overlord. How did he feel as a young man going in to a situation as bleak as the one on those Normandy beaches on 6th June 1944? Many of the men, including my uncle, did not question but were driven by hope and a passion for their country. What do we believe in as much nowadays that we would give up everything for?

My Great Uncle survived World War II and lived to a ripe old age in Suffolk. He survived the beaches of Normandy but his war ended when he was shot at point blank range by a German who he looked straight in the eye. His courage was immeasurable. If I can take anything away from this it’s that we should always rise up to face the challenge especially when it is difficult and against all the odds. This doesn’t have to be on a large scale but right down to our own personal everyday challenges. That in the face of adversity, we should never stop trying and we should never give up hope. Thank you Uncle Hugh.

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