A Reason to Remember

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I went for a walk recently along the beach at Lepe in the New Forest and came across these structures (see photo). They are the remains of embarkation points from World War Two, used for the D-Day landings on the 6th June 1944.  It was a sobering thought, as families ambled along the pebbles and sand, that had it not been for those who had launched their boats from this point all those years ago, that we would not have been walking along the beach that day.  The building I live in used to be a hotel, and the owners’ daughter told me today of how she used to race her father down to the basement to shelter from air raids.  It made me reflect on how fortunate I have been to grow up in a time without such fear and uncertainty.  That is not to say that people have not continued to suffer as a result of an extreme ideology; we are at risk of attack from those who do not agree with our way of life today, as we always have been.  Yet for those born at the beginning of the last century, they went through two world wars within a generation; battles which were brought to their doorsteps on a nightly basis.  Men, women and children lost in their thousands.  As I walked home from town earlier, a coffee in hand, trying to beat the rain which was about to fall from the dark skies above, I realised how lucky I am to be able to do so.  I am grateful to all those who have given their own lives over the years to protect us, because without their sacrifice, I would not be writing these words and you would not be reading them today.

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