On our annual trip to France, I always take the kiddies to Normandy to visit the D-Day beaches. They study American history and spend quite a bit of time on WWII just prior to the March trip. We take a day trip from Paris. One of last year's girls took this photo. If I had been giving out awards for the best photo, this one would have won. The American cemetery is a very moving place. It is so peaceful. I mostly roam around, say a few prayers of thanks, and read the crosses. As far as I know, I have no relatives buried here. My dad was in the army in the mid-50's but didn't see active combat, my great uncle served but I don't know many details, my grandfather did not serve in WWII because he had polio as a child and was crippled (although I never thought of him that way), and one of my uncles served in Vietnam. As an American, though, one can't help but be affected by what so many soldiers did and continue to do in the face of mortal danger.
It annoys me to no end when Americans say that the French do not like Americans. I have never encountered that sentiment.
We found a little café across the street from Omaha Beach where we could have lunch. The owners were very gracious even though it was off-season. When The Best Guide in Paris (the world really) went in to ask the lady if she could accommodate us, she immediately got on the phone and told her husband to get himself there pronto to take our orders. This is what greeted me immediately as I walked in.
The food was amazing, too. Steaming mussels for me.
Accompanied by frites, bien sûr.
The only other patrons in the restaurant that day were also Americans. A man and his two children. We struck up a conversation after he overheard us talking and recognized the Southern accents. He told us he lives in northern Virginia and is in the military. I never like to be too nosy, so I didn't find out more than that. Arles Lucy talked to him more than I did. I was guessing Pentagon. Arles Lucy ran into him later in the cemetery. His family had been given an official tour and presented with American and French flags. Lucy gave them to me for my classroom and my advisees and I say The Pledge of Allegiance each morning facing those flags. Yes, we still do this at my school. It is how we start each day.
Bon appétit to all those who serve and have served our country!