It's iconic. The bucket and little shovel on the sand. It's how many generations have enjoyed their time at the shore.
But on this occasion, our bucket and our beach was something all together different.
For us, the bucket was a 'Bucket List'.
The beach...the D-Day Beaches at Normandy, France.
My dad is an 80-year old man who spent a portion of his childhood as a proud ‘Junior Commando’, and a lifetime fascinated with what Allied soldiers had accomplished during the Second World War, especially at Normandy. It was on his Bucket List to pay homage to the bravest of men and reflect on the bonds which carried some of them through a hell on earth. So, as a very special 80th birthday present, our dad's heartfelt wish to walk in the footsteps of these soldiers was granted.
He especially wanted to see the areas in France which were depicted in the "Band of Brothers' television mini-series. Maybe this was a way to bond with the 'Band'.
I had walked on that same sand a few years ago. I had observed the hills and the hideouts, and the towering cliffs. Those cliffs.
One can only guess at what could propel a soldier to climb a long ladder along a precipice while being shot at from multiple angles.
But they did it.
This June 6, 2017 will be the 73rd anniversary of Operation Neptune, or as many know it: D-Day. The weather at that time did not favor the Allies, but they were still ordered to go.
And as the tides changed, so did the fates of men.
Stay tuned for more of our trip to Normandy & the D-Day Beaches, the Loire Valley with its spectacular chateaus, wine tastings in a real cave, and a place so important, Charles de Gaulle ordered it to be preserved exactly as is, for future generations to see. Don't miss out---subscribe below!