my soft spot

just a mom who plays hockey and knits

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A solemn day, commemorating WWII nearly 70 years ago.

Charlie by the grave of someone named Charles.

April 26, 2014

The day we visited Arromanches and the American Cemetery, the weather was very changeable. At Arromanches, the artificial harbor is still, 70 years later, mostly intact. Some of the metal blocks have come undone and washed up on the shore, so you can look at them up close. Charlie found a small crab with green legs and carried it around in a ladyslipper for a while (whose name he forgot and then called it a Female Bedtime Shoe).

We got back on the road and drove to the American Cemetery, not very far but on a slow country road with glimpses of the sea. The cemetery is free to tour, and we went through the visitor center first. There was a movie about D-Day ("Jour J" in French, because 'jour' starts with j, which is apparently what the D in D-Day is for), lots of the old equipment that the soldiers carried (3 days' worth of meals!).

Then we went out to the cemetery--but not before waiting out a short downpour. The cemetery is vast, a sea of green with crosses as far as the eye can see. The crosses are punctuated with some marble stars of David, some with small rocks on them, and every once in a while, a heartbreaking cross for a soldier "known only to God." Charlie patiently held my hand while I wept. I'm glad we went.


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