Friday, July 1, 2011

Memory and Sacrifice

This morning we left Slauternberg for France.  We didn't even stop at the frontier. I had forgotten about the travel advantages of the EU.
The  American cemetery at Lorraine is the largest American military cemetery overseas.  It is quietly dignfied and strikingly beautiful. The assistant director of the cemetery talked with us about the cemetery and some of the people buried there. We then sang some of our songs. The one Becky directed was particularly meaningful, I thought, "Creation Will Be at Peace." It begins, "In the holy mountain of the Lord, all war and strife will cease..."
We transferred to French buses at the cemetery (not sure exactly why) and also met our guide who is a funny Frenchwoman.  She gave us a big talk about the history of eastern French which most people went to sleep to.  I stayed awake because I wanted to do well on the test. I also tried to unrust my French but the cashier at flunch didn't undersand when I asked her if we could use the gas checkout for food.  I also couldn't remember the word for knife (couteau) when we needed one to cut our big old sandwich.
Then it was the four-hour trip to Paris, complete with D.C.-style traffic jams as we neared the city.  The guide asked usif we had traffic like this and everyone laughed.  We checked into tyhe hotel and had a nice meal.  And so to bed.
I was last here in 1966, when World War II had been over for only 21 years. Because of toil and sacrifice of so many, inlcuding those in the cemetery in Lorraine, I could go to Paris then and now we have Bon nuit from the City of Light.

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