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Crossing the Channel

‘The eyes of the world are upon you. The hopes and prayers of liberty-loving people everywhere march with you.’ 

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

For some unknown twist of fate, or perhaps some subconscious trigger, I have found myself onboard a plane every 5th (in the evening) or 6th (in the morning) of June since I moved to Europe eight years ago. 

Each of these flights departed London for somewhere on the Continent – Hamburg, Munich, Berlin, Prague, Geneva, etc. – thus requiring me to transit the English Channel by air. On each occasion I was gifted with a remarkably clear view of both Dover and Calais as well as the Normandy beaches just to the south.

Of course, this immediately brought to mind the bravery, fortitude, and sacrifice of so many men – merely boys in reality – who transited the waters below me and the skies around me on this date in 1944. 

As I gaze out the window at the azure waters below, I cannot begin to imagine the terror they felt, the sickness they braved, or the uncertainty they contemplated. 

There are not enough words to describe their valor, integrity, and commitment to Freedom.

As we commemorate #DDay75, to those brave souls still with us, I thank you for your service. To those long gone, I wish you to be forever remembered.  

Let us honor their memories – each and every one of us – by committing to stand up to tyranny and evil wherever we encounter it.

By striving for a common good that raises the quality of all of our lives.

By welcoming our brothers and sisters – regardless of race or religion – to safer, peaceful shores. Today and every day.

‘Four years ago our nation and empire stood alone against an overwhelming enemy, with our backs to the wall…Now once more a supreme test has to be faced. This time the challenge is not to fight to survive but to fight to win the final victory for the good cause… ‘At this historic moment surely not one of us is too busy, too young, or too old to play a part in a nation-wide, perchance a world-wide vigil of prayer as the great crusade sets forth.’ 

King George VI, 6 June 1944

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