Sunday, July 6, 2008

My First Trip, Part Three - Blog 7

So, now that I have control of my blog again, let's continue with my trip...

After Mont St Michel we visited Omaha Beach. We stayed about three hours, including going through the Memorial Museum, the Cemetery and the beach itself.
Two things surprised me about seeing the Beach:


1- The beach we WIDE, i.e. it was easily 200 yards from the water to the first bluffs. Since I was there within a week of the actual landing date the tide was fairly similar to when the Allies landed. This view is from the water looking towards the Cemetery, which is on the plateau with the line of trees.

2 – It was a beautiful beach. If the beach didn’t have such a tragic history it would have made a lovely destination.


Bunkers: There are several bunkers scattered throughout all the Beaches of Normandy. Here a shot of my friend Ronda walking down into one at Omaha.






Cemetery: WARNING - This was a very emotional place and I tried to convey that with this blog. While perhaps a bit melodramatic this blog is also sincere. Usually I am scarcastic and pithy; for the remainder of this blog I am not. Please try to read this seriously.

The entire place was peaceful, poignant and sad, but a beautiful sad. It was the kind of place that even though there were other people around you felt…solitary. Alone but not really lonely, if that makes sense.



Wandering through the headstones you felt humbled, grateful and almost ashamed to be there, like there was nothing in your whole life that qualified you to be among those fallen soldiers. It was like you never knew sacrifice or bravery or selflessness before you walked beside those alabaster Crosses and Stars.



As I left the Cemetery, of all the emotions that had touched me the one that stayed with me was hope – I hoped that if the time ever came I would be as courageous and giving as those who slept beneath the soil of Normandy. All in all, it was an excellent place to experience.


Wow – that was a little heavy. Next blog will be lighter, I swear.

13 comments:

Simon said...

Well done, that sums up the feeling of the place. I remember it well, even though we were there three years ago. And I'm glad to see you've finally started the blog.

Simon said...

Oh, I'm signed in as Simon, but this is actually Leah

jllowoolsey said...

Wow, pretty powerful. I just have to say that I am WAY jealous of all your gallivanting around France. Someday, right? Someday, Jared promised!

Rick said...

Let me know when you're headed to France - maybe we can meet in Paris for a few days...

Babe in Boysland said...

These photos say a lot.

Marisa Jean said...

This is the old friend that you crushed with a table, Marisa Jean Larsen (Killpack). I discovered your blog from Sheryl's and Michelle's. I'm jealous of all these photos in Europe. Twice I've tried to get to Europe and both times something happens that keeps me from achieving the dream of getting there. Thanks for sharing the photos so I can live vicariously through your adventures. My blog is private, but if you email me at marisajean@connect2.com I'll send you an invite.

Rick said...

Ah, yes, Marisa! You know the old saying "Old friends are the best friends?" I disagree. I say, "Old friends that you crushed beneath large, heavy objects are the best friends." Remember how we all though you would suffer some sort of paralysis or nerve damage? Good times, good times. I'll send that email directly.

Thanks for reading!
P.S. Glad that you still have the use of your legs.

Leah said...

Time for another update Mr Grove! I'm just waiting to hear what you have to say about stunning Mulhouse...well worth missing a train for.

kriddlec said...

Thanks for sharing your blog. I am so grateful to know you!

:) Krystle

Bob said...

I just thought that I'd say hello since I just ran into you blog.

skcoe said...

I don't want to take anything away from what you've said and the pictures you took, it would be in typical Sheryl fashion to try to make a joke of some kind, but I was completely silenced by this post! I LOVE the black and white photo, it's beautiful. YOu have an amazing natural eye for photography!

skcoe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jackie Stringham said...

Hi rick, It's Jackie. It is so great to read your blog and in a small way catch up with my old chum! So jealous of your amazing trip to France. One day!