Normandy Moved Me Deeply

Jun 15, 2018

Decoration Day, later known as Memorial Day, began  three years after the end of the Civil War. On this day we honor the memories, and pray for the souls of, the men and women who served in all our country’s wars and died. “...They gave the last full measure of devotion…” (Gettysburg Address)

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Each year that I accompanied upper-level French students to France, one of the stops we never skipped was the beaches of Normandy. It was always the one experience of France that was burned in all our memories.

The cemetery was placed on the level atop the cliffs overlooking the beach. It is truly beautifully done. I think it is even more beautiful than Arlington. It is a sacred place. Even the kids sensed this, and were silent when they were there.

Not far from the cemetery, on the edge of the cliff, is one of the German pillboxes from which our troops were shot and that the Allies never removed. It helps to complete the mental vision of 10,000 men dying during one 24-hour period on the beaches below.

Being there always made me sad thinking that each of the dead was someone’s father, brother or son, but it also made me proud. It still brings a tear to my eye. May they all rest in peace, and may such horrible evil never happen again—   PLEASE GOD!

 

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