"Today is the anniversary that no true British patriot should ever forget. The Normandy landings of June 6th, 1944 (termed D-Day) was the largest seaborne invasion in history and the operation by the Allies began the liberation of German-occupied northwestern Europe from Nazi control. This invasion contributed greatly to the Allied victory on the Western Front.
The Second World War, as all wars do, resulted in dads fighting to protect all of those things that they cherished and held close to their heart; their love of country, freedom of self and loved ones and the protection and ultimate safety of family and children. When soldiers were facing imminent death on the battlefields, just before they were ordered to 'go over the top' towards enemy fire, knowing that most of them would be shot down by the enemy, their very last thoughts and image to get them through their ordeal was invariably of their family; their wife, sons and daughters.
So many children lost their fathers during the Second World War and were often left with no more than a photograph to remind them how he once looked. The boys were often angered so much that all they wanted to do was to grow up and join the fray in their father's place, while 'daddy's little girl' cried most of her childhood away for the gentle giant in her life she would never see again.
The very first emotional experience a girl has in life with any man is her father's love and protection. To her, these two aspects are as one, and as such, indivisible. Consequently, she grows up to naturally protect all whom she loves.
To a father growing older, nothing is dearer than a daughter and nothing is more appreciative than to hold his 'little girl' in his big arms once more, the next time she pays him a visit. Though a father may love his sons every bit as much as he does his only daughter, his wife and sons are never in any doubt that dad remains a lifetime hostage to his little girl's needs and requests in a way that they will never experience.
When I was young, one of my mother's sayings was that 'a son is his mother's until he takes a wife, but a daughter will stay her father's for all of her life.' Many a father finds it impossible to consider the thought of another man in his daughter's life, let alone her bed. That is undoubtedly due to the large emotional investment he has more often than not placed in their relationship. He spends her childhood years making his baby into a little woman and when she becomes a woman, he ironically seeks to turn back the clock and make her his 'little girl' again.
All of one's children in a family will have their difficulties and problems from time to time. Such is the nature of life; the very stuff of living, and my children are no different to those of any other father. I worry about each of them in my own special way and never allow one morning or night to pass without telling them, 'I love you.' And though in some ways, my only daughter, Rebecca is probably the most ablest and confident of all my children and requires no man to define her worth, I still worry more for her than I do all my sons.
To some, I realise this may seem to be somewhat chauvinistic behaviour to indulge in within a society where both sexes are considered to be equal, but whatever intelligence I possess, whatever type of man I am, on rainy days, it is my little girl whom I will open my umbrella for while the boys are allowed to get wet! I'm willing to bet that as a father, I am not too different to those brave fathers who fought to protect us from harm 72 years ago on the Beaches of Normandy." William Forde: June 6th, 2016.