Saturday, 24 September 2011

For Amy

We're on holiday in Normandy for the week.  On Tuesday,  we visited the American Cemetery Normandy, high on the bluffs over Omaha Beach.

It is a peaceful but windswept place.  The edge of the cemetery looks down over the dunes and cliffs onto the beach.  While there couldn't be a more fitting place for the American cemetery than the bluffs over Omaha Beach, it is amazing that anyone survived. Looking down, you wonder how anyone could have made it off the beach alive.

Standing on the beach, you marvel at the peace and the lack of ghosts, after the horrors that were the D-Day landings.

We weren't alone at the Cemetery.  Everywhere were small groups of people come to pay their own respects.  One was a small party of veterans and their wives doing a wreath-laying ceremony at the memorial.  Their shoulders had that certain stiffness people have when they're trying not to show they're crying.  (We didn't photograph them - that would have been intrusive, but you can see their wreath in the photo below.)


 We were there to pay respects of our own. The great-uncle of a friend, Amy, is buried there.  He died on D-Day, 6th June 1944, a young man who gave his life and his future so that Europe would be free of the tyranny that was the Nazis.

Putting flowers on his grave is the least that I could do, Amy.

- Pam


amy said...

Thank you, Pam. Seeing your pictures of his grave this morning made me tear up. It means a lot that you thought of our family and visited his grave. It's a moving place, isn't it. I thought the same thing when I visited: it's amazing that anyone survived at all. I hope to go back on day, this time with my husband and children.

skyhawk said...

I am Amy's dad, such a wonderful gesture. My Uncle actually made it to the top of the bluff only to die from mortar fire while he was digging in. We know this because his buddy survived the war and talked to my mothers family after the war. I spoke to my mom after Amy told her. She was so touched and so happy.
Ed Costa

Jill said...

Thank you, Pam. I am Amy's sister, and she shared the photos with me. I shared them with my son, Jonah Bartholomew. What a lovely, generous thing for you to do. I so appreciate it.