Day 173: Cemetaries

For the past few days, we (Claire with her family) have been going to cemetaries in France. Yesterday, we went to see historical D-Day sites in Normandy. While there, we went to the cemetary for American soldiers, which is truly one of the most beautiful memorials I have ever seen. The memorial is extremely powerful, and worth visiting for anyone even remotely near the area (i.e. on the planet with the funds to get there).

Of the near 10,000 white cross graves (including a small percentage of Jewish stars for Jewish soldiers) of soldiers killed during 1942 and 1945, there are only 4 women. Three of the four died in the same jeep accident.

There are also 38 pairs of brothers buried there, including two of the four Niland brothers, who served as the inspriation for Saving Private Ryan. Of the many men killed on DDay itself (June 6, 1944), there are 20 men from the small town of Bedford, Virginia. In 1944, Bedford was a town of 3,000 people, 20 of whom were young men who were killed within the first 15 minutes of DDay.

None of the graves have the soldiers birthdates on them, but we can be sure that the vast majority were very young men. Finally, there are also 307 unnamed graves that read: "Here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms known but to God." Coming away, I was very aware of what it must do to a country's understanding of war when the fighting takes place on your own soil. With an ocean around us, in America the fighting can perhaps seems farther than it should.

Today, we went to Jim Morrison's grave. Which was a very different experience. Here is Claire's brother Tony, talking about the Lance Williams guided tour we went on today (first the apartment where Jim overdosed, then his grave).

And this is when Little Tony first got to Europe:


It is sister Court's birthday! We send 26 excellent wishes out to you! Claire loves you and Lara thinks you're very organized! Here you are in Shanghai (I think)!


A.Roberson said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
A.Roberson said...

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I just posted a somewhat compelling story at aimless-thought that I think you would appreciate.

Please check it out and lemme know what you think.

Lana said...

this is so cute! but dude clarita i think tony wanted a hug from the brick wall (hahaha), what the freak? put the camera down and show some lovin to the baby bro already, dang! YOU GUYS ARE SO CUTE AND BROTHER-SISTERLY!

he's gotten really old looking. happy birthday court!

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