It was great to be in France on the 65th anniversary of D-Day, Saturday, June 6. It was amazing to me that so many people don’t know what D-Day is. I know this is a new generation, and it is important for us all to heal and move on, but it is also important to remember that there are sometimes tyrants in the world, and that there are also heroes.
My uncle was one of those heroes. He died just a year and a half ago. He was known as Mac, Joe, JR or Alfred, depending on who was addressing him. To me he was Uncle Mac and my godfather, my father’s older brother, Dad's hero and mine.
In the Air Force during WWII, he was a tail gunner shot down over occupied Orbec, France, missing in action while being nursed to health by a local family and reunited with ours, subsequently, by the French Underground. Henri Beaudet, the president of the French underground, and my uncle’s hero and another one of ours, helped our uncle Mac back to freedom, into my Grandfather Joe’s diner and into my Grandmother’s arms.
Coincidentally, or maybe not so coincidentally, Henri passed away just weeks before my uncle. I believe he helped my uncle back home once again. Being in France for D-Day reminded me of my uncle, of Henri, and the many other heroes of WWII and our fortunate way of life.