Stories about D-Day heroes were everywhere recently, but here’s one you may have missed.
D-Day, of course, was the turning point of the war in Europe during World War II. The Allied invasion of the French coast on June 6, 1944, sent the occupying German military into a retreat that eventually ended the Nazi threat to world stability.
But on June 5 of this year there was an extraordinary meeting at LaCambe, France, one day before the 65th anniversary of the iconic invasion. This was not a meeting of world leaders or European heads of state. It was a gathering of soldiers from both sides of the conflict – the Allied forces and the German army. They shared stories of that long ago, bloody day.
Imagine that – men in their 80s and 90s who were trying to kill each other 65 years ago now sitting around swapping war tales. How interesting it would have been to have heard both sides of the same tragic story.
“We shake hands, we are all normal people,” Karl-Heinz Mayer of Oldenburg, Germany, told one reporter.
The actions of those in attendance at LaCambe give credence to the old cliché, “Time heals all wounds.” But does it, really?
I’m certain many of the old veterans still carry deep scars from the events of June 6, 1944. I’m just as certain that they feel that now is the time to let some of their animosity go, that there’s no point in taking a grudge to their graves.
The same can be said in many families. Long-festering resentments and anger are often tempered in a person’s twilight years. Few of us want to be referred to by our immediate descendants as bitter old people at the time of our deaths.
As long as we are still breathing, it’s possible to shake hands with another and remind ourselves that we are all normal people.
Writing prompt of the day: Do you have any ugly family situations that resolved themselves over time?
Flickr photo courtesy of Army.mil.