This will be the final entry for my series of my “Summer vacation” . I thought it proper to end it , where it ended for many soldiers. I really did not look forward to going to this place, for I knew the sadness would follow this visit . How can one look forward to seeing the huge amount of lost lives ? To view the rows and rows of names … for what ?? A belief that blonds should rule the world ?? Did Hitler ever read the Bible ?? I do not think Christ was blond, so to Hitler, he was inferior ?? wow , the lack of logic is astonishing to me . There was a sense of anger that has been rising in me – and now, looking at the graves, it came to me – in full impact . I was angry that Hitler was allowed to grow so strong for years – and how europe did not unite sooner, and kill that devil named Hitler.
At the entrance , there is a small museum, which gives details about the American Cemetery . Also, I think, you can go in , and find out , if any relatives are buried here. I did this on line – and found a relative is buried in Britanny . Its great information, and helps bring the experience home. There is also a reflecting pool, which reinforces the bright blue sky that must have been the same on that June day.
The road to the American Cemetery is the same road, that traces the cost line – they designed the cemetery , so it overlooks the Normandy beaches – where most lost their lives. Its a beautiful place, set up on a cliff , with planted trees for shade . There are lots of rose bushes too- which gives a light sweet sent to the air. They keep the bushes trimmed, so a visitor has a ocean view from most graves.
The grave markers are bright white marble stones – engraved in the same font style for everyone – giving the name , and the home state . Rows & rows, of soldiers united in battle and now in death.
A side note, in this cemetery , are also buried Jewish soldiers, and the Star of David marks their place of rest. All together -not separated like back in the states.
I wander through the rows alone, looking at the names, the states. Mentally talking to the local state solders “Texas , you traveled very far to rest here ” , “NC, are you a mountain man – you should like this place then”.. ” SC – boy, I bet your folks cried for years ” ..
I watched the other visitors , most just wandered around, but some had a map, and were looking for family .. those are the faces I watched; The face was never full of joy, but one of restrained pain & pride. To hear for years, about a family man who fought in Normandy – and to be standing near to him – would be very bitter sweet reunion.
I decided to visit my adopted soldier , who is resting on the sea side , near the pink rose bush. When I visit him, I first apologize for the pink rose bush , “yes, I tell him, its not very masculine , but it gives a wonderful scent to the air , so its OK” . There are many who bring flowers to lay on the grave site. I tell my solder, that I bring rocks instead . Why ? simple, I want everyone who passes, to know that my solder has someone who cares about him. The jewish people leave rocks ,when they visit a grave, because flowers fade and blow away . Rocks on the other hand, are not that pretty to look at, but when you see a grave , that has a mini rockbed, you know, that grave has been visited a lot.
To finish our day for the dead – we traveled also to visit the German cemetery, I convinced Nic, we needed to visit the enemy grave site. There was something that compelled me – I had no idea what kind of feelings to expect. ..
Upon entering the German cemetery, first, you will notice the stones in this cemetery, are black stones, which clearly sets the mood
The french people,wanted to do the proper thing, and bury these men, but knew to separate them .. and they are far away ( about a 20 min ride ) from the Americans. The black cross are carved, but are not refined in style, they are rough and jagged stones..
Reading these stones, you find more sadness, most are 18 – 23 years old . The same limited information, which includes names and ranks, but what you find here, is multi graves too.
In the center, is a high monument – in a dark stone, the figures are carved in the art deco style, very square jawlines, and hands. What caught my eye, was the face of Mother Mary – to me, she looks very sad and ashamed .. or maybe that is my projection on this place.
There are visitors here too. Most are Germans, I can hear them talk to each other. There are no lines to come into this place. There is no sea breeze,or rose sent on the air . The cemetery has large trees, that shade most of the grounds during the day. The place is modest in its landscaping., a quiet place now, where these young enemies rest.
Reviewing these two places, its very obvious that who are the good guys and the bad guys is clear. Hitler set the world into a black and white war, and this division would follow these men until their grave stones. Even the crosses are different, the Americans are smooth, with gold lettering. The german, is black on black . these stone crosses.
let these places remind us of the Permanent Punishment – that follows,
when someone, tries to be God,
and the black & white outcome !!