As the sun rose over Normandy shores this morning, a veteran watched, lost in memories, from the deck of HMS Bulwark. The Royal Navy flagship had sailed the English Channel overnight at the head of an international task group of ships. For former Royal Marine Corporal Bill Bryant, 89, the sight of the beaches brought back emotional recollections of the same time exactly 70 years ago, as he prepared to drive his landing craft to the shores - carrying his colleagues to their fate on land, amid a barrage of noise and chaos. The contrast with today could not have been greater as he joined many other veterans on "Gold" Beach, amid a festival atmosphere.
The sunshine sparkled on the waves, and French families and tourists from across Europe gathered to watch military bands on the main square at Arromanches. This doughty but dwindling band of brothers know this may be the last time they meet on these shores. For the veterans, and those who've come to honor them, the ceremonies at Bayeux cemetery are a poignant but powerful reminder of courage and endurance, as D-Day slowly passes from living memory into history.
Kemo D. 7