I spent much of the day watching the commemorations of the D-Day landings 75th anniversary, and tearing up. Watching those veterans, who’d been so young when they had to go through something so horrible, was incredibly moving. Especially when they showed the Normandy veterans laying their wreaths at the memorial and you could see the emotion on their faces, many of whom you know have never (or rarely) talked about the horrors they witnessed — by that point I was more than just tearing up. I was bawling, tears streaming down my face.
Yesterday, I got to listen to my mother-in-law tell her memories of that day. She was working in a factory in Bedford, England that made plane engines. Because they had poor radio reception, they didn’t really know what was happening. But an apprentice in the factory who was a friend of hers had heard the news, and he snuck over at one point to let her know what was happening. She said it was an exciting and tense time as they waited to learn the outcome.
She also commented that her boyfriend, an American bombardier, had told her that he’d flown over her town to make sure the factory where she worked was camouflaged properly. Apparently, the job had been done satisfactorily.
He was killed four months later.