Quite literally, the D-Day Vets from WW2 are a “disappearing” hard act to follow. This we know, as those who fought in battle 70 years ago are fewer in number yet still with us to remember those days. As usual on that anniversary date, June 6, 2014, there was the world commemoration at Normandy; and as it happens, this year marks the 100th anniversary of the start of WW1.
Almost symbolically, ten days ago in the UK, came the story of the now 90 year-old Bernard Jordan, a WW2 vet who did his own disappearing act from the Pines Care Home in Sussex. He headed out alone for Normandy for what might have been in his mind, his last chance to remember those who never had a chance to experience the longevity he has had.
At first observation, this was a warm feel good story that seemed to give me as well as others a nostalgic connection with that disappearing generation. Why not? My father would have been 90 this year, and that is just the kind of thing he would have done, wander off on his own.
Of course, the media made a big splash about Mr. Jordan as the “great escaper” from the care home. Yet underneath the glow of fondness for this lucky man, I couldn’t help but wonder that if things had gone badly, would that care home have faced a legal battle?
And then – are “care homes” really viewed as confinement camps for older people?