Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a day set aside to pay tribute to those who died in active military service, those who gave all. We are a military family and we know that freedom isn't free; it's paid for by the sacrifices of those who have served. To say we're thankful is an understatement.

The most memorable Memorial Day for me didn't happen in the United States; it was Memorial Day 1999, observed at the Lorraine American Cemetery in Saint-Avold, Moselle France. My husband was deployed and I traveled with good friends from our base in Germany to the ceremony in France.

Now, we all know that France doesn't have the most supportive reputation when it comes to Americans; however, there are places where the impact that Americans have had has left a positive mark. The people remember that Americans sacrificed much to help the French during World War II.

At the Lorraine American Cemetery, 10,489 American soldiers and airmen are buried, most of whom lost their lives during campaigns in Germany and beyond. Included in this number are 151 Unkown Soldiers and 28 brothers, buried side-by-side. It is the largest American WWII cemetery in Europe.

During our four years in Germany, we visited other historic American military sites in in France and Belgium and of course, Germany; but I'll never forget the Lorraine American Cemetery and the respect showed by the people we met.

Program from the Memorial Day service.

Unknown soldier grave with American
and French flags.

Overlooking one small portion of the Lorraine
American Cemetery.

Marking the beach head.

Close up from a wall mural at the American Military Cemetery
at Omaha Beach in France.

American flag flying over the cemetery
at Omaha Beach.

Some of the markers at the American military cemetery
at Omaha Beach.
Postcard depicting the Normandy invasion.

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