News and Opinion from Anne Barone to Keep You Chic & Slim

|| 6 June 2019

D-Day: Remembering Dad & Dolls

Today is the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Observances of this historic event have always held special meaning for me. On that 6th June 1944, my father, a sergeant in the American army, led his men onto the beach in Normandy in that historic landing so vital to the winning of World War II.

My mother, a few weeks from the birth of their first child, kept the radio next to her listening to the news of the invasion as she repainted a baby bed for their soon-to-arrive child.

1918 World War I poster announcing Daylight Saving Time

image: Anne and her father in first photo taken after he returned from World War II.

My father was still fighting in France when he received news that he was the father of a daughter. Somehow he found time in a lull in battle to buy me a beautiful French doll — not a baby doll — but one that looked like a young Audrey Tautou in a pretty red and white checked taffeta dress. So my first doll was French — an omen perhaps.

As my father fought his way across Europe, in each country in which he saw battle, he bought me another doll. I have no idea how he managed to ship these dolls back to the United States.

In 1994, on the 50th anniversary of D-Day, as I watched a History Channel documentary of the invasion, with each segment on the progress of the fighting across Europe that followed, a map would show on my television screen with the center of the major fighting marked with a circle. I realized that each of those points on the map marked the location where my father had bought one of my dolls.

By the time World War II ended and my father came home, he found a daughter who was quite old enough to play with the dolls he had bought for her.

Unfortunately, like many wartime marriages, that of my parents did not survive in peacetime. As career military, my father was transferred to another part of the United States and then abroad. After the divorce, I saw him only once briefly when I was five. That memory is vague. But my European World War II dolls were an important part of my childhood and have remained important to me throughout my life. They have always been my connection to my father who is most in my memory on D-Day anniversaries. He was one of the heroes.

be chic, stay slim — Anne Barone

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