Remembering Five Visits to Normandy
Bonjour mes amis,
Writing this blog is sometimes not as easy as I thought it would be. I promised a positive focus and some days “positive” is a difficult mindset right now. I’ve checked off a variety of activities like finishing the edits on a novel, working jigsaw puzzles (now one that has 2000 pieces!), cooking (please no!) and committing to a vigorous exercise routine combined with a daily walk. I’ve also managed to get my usual patio plants secured before the nursery was shut down and have tried to salvage them through some very cold nights. The days are long, and many have been rainy, somber, and quite cool. Spring is here by the calendar but it’s been spotty for us here in Alabama.
In my 73 years, I’ve never seen anything like this…so much death and uncertainty and now flippant division in the nation. It borders on insanity. All of this is heart-breaking as fear grips our nation. People are hungry, jobless, and unsure; people are looking for a steady rudder which we don’t seem to have. It reminds us of other times which were dire when we stepped up to the challenges facing us.
Today’s post is on Normandy, a time in US history when we rose to a daunting challenge led by a focused and visionary general, Dwight Eisenhower. His brilliant plan produced a feat of magnitude unparalleled in history, even to this day. When you stand on the cliffs at Pointe du Hoc, it’s hard to believe that young men, some almost children, did what they did to save our world from the narcissistic terrors of a maniac named Hitler.
We have visited this sacred site on five different occasions to produce some of our best memories, some with family and some with friends. Meandering along the small village roads of the area, hardly wide enough for two cars, is so touching especially when you sometimes encounter the thick hedgerow which almost thwarted the Allied invasion. You can still see windows flying flags of both nations, France and the USA, side-by-side. The locals still adore Americans and are not shy about letting you know. The beaches, museums and the cemetery itself are all free to those wishing to spend some quiet moments of solitude and prayer. I hope you will visit someday, when travel restrictions are lifted.
COVID-19 is a war of a different kind. It is an unseen enemy requiring our best in working together here at home to contain and mitigate its ravaging effects. Our best is Dr. Fauci, and I hope our better angels will listen to him and heed his direction. Stay safe and stay home, my friends.
L & B
April 20, 2020 @ 2:35 pm
Thank you for this timely reminder of the debt we owe those whose bravery and courage kept us free. This place rendered me immediately speechless as do your stunning photos and remembrances.
Monica & Marlyn
April 20, 2020 @ 2:50 pm
Your words today were eloquent, Linda, and the pictures poignant. May we never forget the hard lessons learned from our history.
April 20, 2020 @ 3:39 pm
I got chills and tears looking at your photos and remembering our two trips there. Unforgettable. Thank you the precious reminder.
April 20, 2020 @ 3:52 pm
A good reminder that we can rise to meet the challenges with strong leadership and willing spirits. Such a touching site.
April 20, 2020 @ 4:15 pm
I’m glad y’all make regular visits to Normandy. I’m also glad that you include the memorial cross to Frank Peregory, a Medal of Honor winner. Thanks
April 20, 2020 @ 4:55 pm
How blessed you are to have walked those sacred grounds. Even the still pictures bring pain to my heart – and gratitude.
April 20, 2020 @ 8:19 pm
Love all the pictures and your thoughts. I did a double-take when I saw Paula. Thought it was a COVID-19 mask then I realized it was a glove!
April 20, 2020 @ 11:54 pm
April 21, 2020 @ 10:12 pm
Beautiful post, Linda. And I’m beyond impressed at everything else you’re accomplishing, including an exercise routine! I think you and Bernie are the energiser bunnies in Alabama as well as in Paris. Take care both xxxx