It’s been 68 years since Operation Overlord. Yesterday, I thought it fitting to re-read Ted Barris’s Juno. I had forgotten how good it was.
I had forgotten details like, on the night of June 5, a BBC newscast was interrupted with reports containing the phrases “Eileen is married to Jo….It is hot in Suez….The compass points north….The dice are on the table.” Those words signalled the French Resistance to start blowing up specific infrastructure targets because the invasion was imminent.
I had forgotten that some Canadians had unusual and dangerous jobs to do leading up to D-Day, like the brave souls manning two X-Craft midget submarines off the coast of France, waiting to guide the first landing craft to the beach. The weather delay meant the five men in each vessel risked asphyxiation.
I had forgotten the grim detail of how many Canadian mothers lost more than one son: nine pairs of brothers and three brothers from one family, The Westlakes, were all killed in the Normandy campaign.
I had forgotten.