Today, people around the world are remembering those who fought and died for freedom in World War 2. But one of the most inspiring stories of the day may be that of Bernard Jordan, an 89 year old British D-Day who walked out of his nursing home in Hove, England yesterday without telling anyone where he was going. After being reported missing by the staff and a search by local police, Jordan was found exactly where he needed to be today - on the beaches of Normandy, standing alongside his fellow veterans, commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-Day.
Jordan, who allegedly was stopped by the staff of the nursing home from attending the event, had left the home Thursday morning wearing a grey rain coat and a jacket adorned with his military medals. It was only later that night, after police were called, that the nursing home found out from a fellow veteran that Jordan was fine and at a hotel in Ouistreham, France, about an hour outside of Normandy.
Police have spoken to Jordan, and his friends are going to make sure he gets back to Hove safe and sound. A police spokesman said, "We have spoken to the veteran who called the home today and are satisfied that the pensioner is fine and that his friends are going to ensure he gets back to Hove safely over the next couple of days after the D-Day celebrations finish."
People stand on Omaha Beach, western France , Friday June 6, 2014. World leaders and dignitaries including President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will gather to honor the more than 150,000 American, British, Canadian and other Allied D-Day troops who risked and gave their lives to defeat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Peter Curtis, the chief executive of the company the runs Jordan's nursing home, has denied reports Jordan was banned from attending. Curtis said, "Mr Jordan has full capacity, which means that he can come and go from the home as he pleases, which he does on most days."
Jordan served with the Royal Navy during Operation Overlord, the code name for the Battle of Normandy which led to the liberation of Western Europe from the fascist grip of the Axis Powers.
"I'm not surprised to hear he's gone missing," said Brighton councillor Les Hamilton. "The memorial services meant a lot to him. He clearly didn't want to miss what might be his last one."
Jordan attended the 50th and 60th anniversary's of D-Day as well in Normandy.
From left, World War II veterans of the U.S. 29th Infantry Division, Hal Baumgarten, 90 from Pennsylvania, Steve Melnikoff, 94, from Maryland, Don McCarthy, 90 from Rhode Island, and Morley Piper, 90, from Massachusetts, attend a D-Day commemoration, on Omaha Beach, western France , Friday June 6, 2014. Veterans and Normandy residents are paying tribute to the thousands who gave their lives in the D-Day invasion of Nazi-occupied France 70 years ago. World leaders and dignitaries including President Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth II will gather to honor the more than 150,000 American, British, Canadian and other Allied D-Day troops who risked and gave their lives to defeat Adolf Hitler's Third Reich. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
Jordan's service to the community didn't end after the war. He also served as mayor of Hove, England, an experience of which he said, "I was able to take my chance, serve the people of my town and do a job I loved. I am very proud of what I was able to do. For anyone who is interested in becoming Mayor, you must be prepared to work hard."
Front Page image courtesy of the AP.