Today has been a moving, inspiring and emotional day for our wonderful BBBR riders.
The day started off with a wakeup call as the cyclists made their way up a steep hill to the beautiful St Desir War Cemetery. Brian, who joins the Ride from Op Comfort, gave an amazing speech to the group about how his injury happened, his recovery and the vital need for support for all wounded veterans to continue.
There was also a moving service by the Pedalling Padre and three wreaths laid by English, Canadian and Australian veterans.
The cyclists then tackled another three hills in quick succession, riding through some beautiful French villages including Beuvron-en-Auge. We had a stop in Merville Battery for lunch, and then a few roadside history stops with our Battlefield Guides before we arrived at the incredible Pegasus Bridge.
Fundraiser Dawn Bagnall carried the Baton throughout her Ride yesterday and said: “It’s an honour and a privilege. It makes you feel like you’re part of something really special, as it gives you a sense of purpose. I’m very humble and grateful; the stories we’re hearing from the wounded are amazing”.
Wounded veterans and fundraisers lined the bridge together, followed by some inspiring words by Padre Roger Dawson and a ceremonial wreath-laying to honour one rider’s grandfather.
We ended the day’s cycling with a visit to Madame Gondray’s café at the other end of Pegasus Bridge, where veteran Josh Boggi and H4H founder Bryn Parry awarded Madame Gondray with a Hero Award for all her support over the years.
Band of Brother Andy Armstrong said: “Today has been a fantastic day – the Battlefield Guides are great explaining the history of each area. It’s good to see how it was back then, especially compared with today’s technology. It’s so important to remember what people have done for us; I really appreciate all of it”.