At dawn on Saturday, Charles Shay stood lonesome with none fellow veteran on the exact same seaside the place he waded ashore 76 years in the past, a part of some of the epic battles in army historical past that got here to be referred to as D-Day and turned the tide of the Second World Conflict.
In comparison with final yr, when many tens of hundreds got here to the northern French seashores of Normandy to cheer the dwindling variety of veterans and rejoice three-quarters of a century of liberation from Nazi oppression, the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent restrictions turned this yr’s remembrance into one of many eeriest ever.
“I’m very unhappy now,” stated Shay, who was a 19-year-old U.S. Military medic when he landed on Omaha Seashore underneath horrific machine-gun fireplace and shells. “Due to the virus, no person will be right here. I want to see extra of us right here,” he informed The Related Press.
Usually, 95-year-old Shay can be assembly different survivors of the 1944 battle and celebrating with locals and dignitaries alike, all not removed from his house near the seashores that outlined his life.
“This yr, I’m one of many only a few that’s in all probability right here,” he stated, including that different U.S. veterans couldn’t fly in due to the pandemic.
When a full moon disappeared over land and the solar rose the opposite facet over…