“What happened in 1944 in Normandy may give us clues”

The son of a Canadian pilot wounded in the Battle of Normandy returned to the farm that sheltered him in Pays-d’Auge. His father was a volunteer, like all soldiers from Canada. “It was an ideological war, and it resonates with current events,” recalls Natalie Worthington, head of Juno Beach. “Today we must remember why the allies united.”

The house has been refurbished but is really the same as the old sepia color photo. Harvey is sitting in the dining room with Ferey, a family that now lives in this beautiful building in the Pays d’Auge. Scattered on the table are twisted, torn, oxidized pieces of metal. They come from the plane that Harvey’s father boarded on June 6, 1944.

This garbage was found over the years in a field less than a kilometer from us. Teresa Ferey did research to identify the device. This Dakota was carrying paratroopers when it was shot down by an air defense system. “IPilot Harvey E. Jones saved the lives of his crew. While the plane is on fire, the latter remains at the controls and orders the crew to jump. Warrant Officer Cobby Engelberg, Harvey Engelberg’s father, is unconscious and unable to jump. The pilot then decides to make an emergency landing, which instantly kills him. says Juno Beach Center in Courcelles-sur-Mer.

Cobby Engelberg is then assembled in this house, where his son sits 78 years later. “It’s very touching. Thanks to the pilot who saved my father, I am alive, with my family, children, grandchildren. Teresa Ferey contacted me just three weeks ago.” Harvey immediately packed his suitcase to go back in time: he returns to the war. “The time is incredible, especially considering what is happening in Ukraine today. There are a lot of emotions involved.”

At the center of Juno Beach in Courcelles-sur-Mer, the landing of Canadian troops on June 6, 1944 also echoes current events. “Harvey Engelberg’s father and the pilot who saved his life were volunteers, just like the young people who join Ukraine today,” emphasizes director Natalie Worthington. “That’s exactly what Roger Alexandre, founder of the Juno Beach Friends Association, did. He saw the bodies of young Canadian soldiers and fought to make people remember the reasons why they died so far from home.”

For the past few weeks, visitors to the Canadian Museum have been coming to find food for thought. “Teachers ask us to help them find answers to children’s questions about Ukraine. The teacher insisted on explaining to us why the Canadians volunteered.” notes Natalie Worthington.

Harvey Engelberg’s father came to fight tyranny, to defend democracy and freedom. Ukraine is now trying to rally Western people to its side by defending the same values. Images of Ukrainian civilians being shot for refusing to cooperate with the occupiers are reminiscent of certain acts of barbarism committed in Normandy in 1944. The Duhamel family, who had rescued Warrant Officer Cobby Engelberg, were arrested and their son killed by the Nazis for helping them. service to allies.

It was an ideological war. We see that there were dramas and horrors, but we got out of them together. And today we can hope that we can get out of it, remaining united.

Natalie Worthington, director of Juno Beach

“We were raised between checkpoints and bomb shelters”remembers Thérèse Ferey in Bassainville. “We are the last witnesses of 39/45. My husband’s grandfather committed 14/18 and didn’t talk about it. He was there, but he wasn’t. We suffered from unsaid things. Engelberg, we’re correcting an injustice. It’s terrible that Jones was buried unknown and unknown, anonymous. The loneliness of a fighter is terrible.

This is a small story within a story that is resurfacing today in troubled times. “There’s a man there insists Natalie Worthington. We are constantly digging into this humanity.”. Hoping to find some meaning in it.

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