It’s unfortunate to admit, but old people go missing often. And when it happens its immediately reported and police respond accordingly.
So it was no surprise when 89-year-old war veteran, Bernard Jordan, left Thursday morning that police searched throughout the night looking for him. Jordan left The Pines nursing home in Sussex, England around 10:30 a.m. Thursday morning. Later that night the nursing home got a call from man leaving a tip that their missing resident was spotted, and he knew where he was headed too.
It was 70 years ago on June 6, 1944 when thousands of Allied troops stormed the beach in Normandy, gaining a foothold in western Europe which would eventually lead to the defeat of the Germans in World War II. Bernard Jordan was one of those troops. There was no where else he’d be to commemorate one of the most important days in world history.
The day known as D-Day, saw the largest seaborne invasion in history where over 150,000 British, US and Canadian men fought German forces along the Atlantic Wall. Their target was a 50-mile stretch of beach on the Normandy coast in France. Weather on the day wasn’t easy, but it was far from the match of the heavy gunfire, mines, barbed wire and other obstacles placed on the beach. Casualties were heavy, but Allies were determined to succeed, and they did.
Many of the few remaining veterans from World War II joined President Obama, Queen Elizabeth II, Prime Minister David Cameron, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel and gathered at the Normandy American Cemetery for the 70th anniversary of the invasion. With that type of pomp how could anyone so close to the day not be apart of it.
Bernard Jordan would not be denied. He had already asked the nursing home to go on an organized trip to tour the D-Day 70th anniversary events, but the home wasn’t able to accommodate the request. So he stop requesting and started traveling.
The man who called in the tip revealed that the two of them met on a bus to France and shared a hotel room just a short distance from the site of the historic battle. Later, the owner of the nursing home was able to confirm that Jordan did in fact attend the D-Day commemorations in Normandy.
“Mr. Jordan was reported missing to the police yesterday evening, as a matter of caution because he did not return from his normal trip to town, and when he left had not told us he was still intent on trying to get to Normandy,” said Gracewell Healthcare CEO Peter Curtis. “We can confirm that he attended the D-Day commemorations in Normandy today.”
Not for nothin’ this little adventure for this senior citizen caused a scare for a few people. But let’s thank him for his bravery he showed 70 years ago, and also for his bravery he showed in making it back there today in his old age.