Oh man, I have a big gap in my entries. All I can say is having six kids home during the Summer doesn’t really allow for me to have much free time. Ok, back to posting about the trip.
Day 5: This was a day of appreciation. We woke up early, got to the train station where we loaded up on a train to Normandy. I must say, I really liked traveling by train. But like I said, this was a day of appreciation. We toured the sites of World War 2. To see the actual places, to hear the stories and to realize that many of those young men weren’t much older than my own son, well it was sobering. I was glad my own children had the opportunity to hear those stories.
We toured all of the American sites there. Omaha Beach, Utah Beach, The American Cemetery, and more…..
We took a break for lunch. No one spoke English at the restaurants so my French speaking was put to the test. Fortunately, pizza is a universal language. We just learned we had to ask for the cheese pizza without the blue cheese and goat cheese for the kids. And of course, the kiddos spotted the American looking merry-go-round in the parking lot. So of course we went on for a couple of spins. I just hope this isn’t the only thing the little kids remember from the day. Below is a picture of the town church, Sainte-Mere-Eglise. Notice the parachuter hanging from the steeple. This is in memory of John Steele, a soldier who got hooked onto the church during the invasion. He hung there for two hours. The bells from the church caused him to be deaf temporarily. All he could do was hang there, stuck, watching the battle but pretending to be dead. The Germans caught him and held him as prisoner but eventually he escaped. Of course the day was filled with lots of walking which ended up with a couple of kids asking for rides. The kids decided to act out the bombings in the sand. One of out favorite stops was this tiny little church. Notice the stain glass windows have parachuters in them. This is where two young medics cared for the wounded. While serving to help soldiers as well as some locals and even an occasional German soldier, a bomb shot through the ceiling and landed in the middle of the church. The bomb thumped to the ground and never detonated. The kids thought that was a pretty miraculous story! During this trip as a whole, we spent a lot of time filling our tummies with delicious food. This day however, was a day to fill our minds and hearts with gratitude. Gratitude that we live free and gratitude for all of those who gave so unselfishly and bravely to fight for that freedom, not only our country but for others.