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