DAY 80: Saturday 6 June
Good morning everyone
Eighty consecutive days of these emails – it’s really encouraging that after 11 weeks of waking up to us every morning, you are still saying you appreciate and look forward to opening the day’s email each morning. It has been a long haul with many evenings spent struggling to come up a fresh idea and theme for the following morning. Sometimes the theme has been developing in the mind during the day, prompted by something I’ve heard or seen, or picking up on the significance of the date – so Easter, VE Day celebrations and Pentecost were fairly obvious.
But when it comes to Saturday 6 June, what’s special about today? The short answer seemed to be nothing spectacular but apologies to the thousands of people who celebrating birthdays or other celebrations today and it is Lynda Price’s birthday tomorrow so maybe they’re arranging some big bash celebration for that?
We cannot overlook one of the most significant dates in WWII – at 6:30am on the Tuesday 6 June 1944 the operation codenamed Operation Overlord started, also known as D-Day, when some 156,000 American, British and Canadian forces landed on five beaches along a 50-mile stretch of the heavily fortified coast of France's Normandy region.
The invasion had originally been planned for 5 June but the weather had made it more dangerous so was moved back 24 hours. It was one of the largest amphibious military assaults in history employing almost 7000 naval and merchant ships, landing craft and other vessels.
Prior to D-Day, the Allies conducted a large-scale deception campaign designed to mislead the Germans about the intended invasion target. By late August 1944, all of northern France had been liberated, and by the following spring the Allies had defeated the Germans.
The Normandy landings have been called the beginning of the end of war in Europe.
For more than 25 years of my working life, I had regularly travelled back and forth to Europe, often preferring to drive particularly if my destination was in the northern part of France. I frequently used the overnight ferry service between Portsmouth and Caen or Le Havre but in all those years and many trips, I had never actually visited the D Day beaches. So a few years ago, Karen and I spent a week touring around Normandy and visiting those beaches. One of the memorable towns we visited was Bayeux, home of the original Bayeux Tapestry, cathedral and the largest British military cemetery in France. Much of the history of Normandy is bound up in centuries of war and conflict, (but they also grow a lot of apples and produce Calvados brandy!)
In the first half of 2020, the world has been engaged in a war against an unseen enemy. Coronavirus has brought the world as we knew it in 2019 to a virtual standstill. Nations and individuals have joined once again in a united battle against a common enemy and may believe they have the answer and the way forward from the present situation, and in the weeks and months to come, time will tell. All war is tough on both those who are engaged in the fight and those who are the innocent victims. The ‘soldiers’ on the front line of the Covid-19 war are those in our health and essential services whilst we know there have sadly been more than 40,000 victims in the UK alone and we do yet not know the eventual outcome of the current pandemic which has already infected over 6.4 million people worldwide and claimed over 380,000 lives in 213 countries.
But we remember that the greatest victory ever was Jesus’ absolute victory over sin and death – but having died he rose again on the third day and we celebrated this at Eastertime. We can look forward with great anticipation towards Christ’s victory return. In the meantime, we have the privilege of sharing the news of the victory with those we meet – in person or on the phone.
John 11:25 - Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,
Revelation 21:4 - He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
1 Corinthians 15:55 - “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
1 John 5:4 - for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.
Hymnalong >>> THESE ARE THE DAYS OF ELIJAH
Jean Cussons has sufficiently recovered following her fall in early May and subsequent hospitalisation. After physiotherapy she has now returned to her care home, Greville House.
John Harrison has been feeling rather down recently and is not going out of the house, even by car. Perhaps a few friendly phone calls would encourage John and reassure him that he is not forgotten. (if you don’t have John’s number to hand, we can let you have it)
MAKE YOU SMILE: - more signs of getting old -
• You know you’re getting old….when your back goes out more often than you do !
• You know you’re old when you can’t get your rocking chair started..!
• You know you are getting old when you move your bed closer to the bathroom because you spend half your night there anyway.
• You know you are old when your doctor is the same age as your grandson.