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Bittersweet memories as D-Day veterans 'come home'

A British veteran walks through the British War Cemetery at Bayeux in Normandy, France on June 6, 2014 after a bi-national D-Day commemoration ceremony marking the World War II Allied landingsBayeux (France) (AFP) – “It’s wonderful as an old man of 91 – it’s like coming home.” As he was pushed in his wheelchair past the white gravestones of the Commonwealth war cemetery in Bayeux, Australian Bob Cowper was transported seven decades back in time. Returning to Normandy for the first time since taking part in the D-Day invasion, the former night fighter pilot found his mind flooding with bittersweet memories of flying over the landing beaches on June 6, 1944. At the end of a day when, in Barack Obama’s words, “blood soaked the water and bombs broke the sky,” Cowper and a Royal Australian Air Force comrade climbed into their Mosquito fighter plane and headed for northern France.

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