D-Day, Normandy and the “Wall”

Normandy Cemetery

I will soon visit the Normandy beaches and cemeteries to pay my respect to the thousands of Americans, English and Canadians that paid the ultimate sacrifice.

I vividly remember  my first and only visit to the Vietnam “Wall” memorial many years ago.  I was not prepared for the emotional effect it would have on me.  This was “our” war and when I put my hand on the name of my high school friend etched on the “Wall” along with the 58,209 others, it brought me to my knees with tears.

The "Wall"

I expect the same will happen on the beaches and the cemeteries of Normandy.

I am a Vietnam “era” Marine that spent my time at Headquarters Marine Corps in Arlington Virgina.  The closest I have been to combat was watching “Saving Private Ryan”.  I sometimes feel that I should have been sent over and apparently “experts” in the field say I am not alone in those feelings.  I didn’t go and I should thank God for that.

I do not like the country of France and or the people of France…save one … Carla Bruni …

Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni-Sarkozy

I have been told that the people of Normandy like Americans and sincerely appreciate what the allied solders did for them and the sacrifices they made..  I hope they still do.

… come to think of it … I sometimes question whether some Americans appreciate the men and women that honorably served and are now serving our great country.  Ask an American  what the significance of December 7 is and you would be surprised at some of the responses.  In 10 years some will think 7-11 changed the name of their stores to 9-11.

Those who don’t remember the past are condemned to repeat it. George Santayana, 1863-1953

June 6, 1044

In respectful brevity, by nightfall of June 6, 1944, 132,715 Allied troops had been put ashore..  By the end of June over 850,000 Allied soldiers were engaged in the Battle of Normandy, which cost 209,000 Allied casualties, including more than 53,000 dead.

Please contact me if you have a relative that was left behind.   Send details and I will attempt to find the marker for his grave and pay my respects, say a prayer and take a picture to send to you.

One of my recent posts  … with memories not yet had … comes close in describing those not living life … but for those that died at such a young age …  only God can pen their epitaphs …

… and perhaps he had a hand in a message on the grave stone of a nineteen-year-old that died on D-Day, from his parents, that reads:

To the World he was one … To Us he was the world

I am looking forward to this trip and the thought of being in “spirit” with these ordinary men who, in the face of unbelievable danger, performed extraordinary acts of heroism on June 6, 1944 and throughout the war.

I will be accompanied by my wife Mary, sister Carol and brother in law Joe.



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One Response to D-Day, Normandy and the “Wall”

  1. Mark Southworth says:

    My dear friend, Dr. Charles Parsons, who passed away last Sept. 21st visited the beaches of Normandy last June. He had read all the accounts and said it was very moving to be there.
    On a side note, raise your glass when someone says “a votre sante”

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