In this film you will witness a young boy’s simple, yet dedicated gesture of patriotism in honor of those who fell at Normandy on D-Day. He is not allowed to offer this gesture of respect and honor in the cemetery, so he went down to the wide beach to stand his solitary vigil. He stands with a flag on a staff that is much larger than himself. The winds lift and whip the flag about, which makes it tough for this young boy to keep his stance. He faces out to sea, imagining the thousands of ships on the horizon and the men and equipment coming ashore from the various landing crafts. He stays there for hours, even as the tide is coming in. He is dressed in a mock WWII uniform.
This is a young boy’s idea. It has no sophistication in it. It is done with the simple honesty of youth. He cannot know what the veterans and the fallen he honors know, except in the fertile imagination of youth. But his gesture is full of dignity. His stance is not “professional” — his understanding of such things is not formed by experience. But it does not matter. Everyone who sees him, the tourists and the veterans alike that are there for the same purpose, understands his intentions. They begin to take pictures or him or of themselves standing near him. A veteran stands in front of him briefly and offers a respectful salute.
We can only imagine the thoughts that went through this young man’s mind as he stood those long hours, feeling the pain in his limbs, wanting to give in to that pain. But in his action we can see his dedication and his singular desire to honor the fallen in this simple, yet symbolically powerful gesture.
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