Bonjour mes amis,
No matter how many times you go, no matter with whom, no matter the time of year or the weather, the moment you stand on Pointe du Hoc or Omaha Beach or stroll the solemn rows of graves at the American Cemetery in Normandy, you are overcome with awe, pride, sadness, humility, and a deep sense that you are touching a moment in history unsurpassed by any other. The graves of the unknown soldiers “Known only by God” will rip out your heart.
We have been to Normandy 6 times and each time is distinctly special. Yesterday was the first time during quite cold, rainy weather which seemed to etch the challenges of the battle into our very soul. When you see those cliffs mounted by 18 and 19-year old Rangers, you will never forget the greatest generation of men who risked everything for freedom from an evil force that was raping our world.
Our day began with an early train ride to Caen where we rented a car and made the relatively short drive to the area. Many think that Normandy is one place but it’s really a region accessible by car as you move from spot to spot. It cannot be done on foot. Riding though the tiny rues of the villages is part of the experience and oh, the beautiful hedgerow which challenged the American invasion is something to behold. If you don’t know about the hedgerow, read your history!
All of us (save Bernie) took these photos. Just as the train was leaving the station, Bernie turned to me and said, “I don’t have the chip in my camera. You forgot to put it back!” You don’t really want to hear the rest of that conversation!
Paula and Tim were awed and had a moving experience, despite the chilly weather and some rain. I couldn’t help but remember other visits with other dear people in our lives…my son and his family, Charles and Judy Gattis, Johnny and Sharon Tyson and Jodie and Dennis Clements.
If you ever get a chance, go to the Normandy area!
Have a lovely day!
L & B