Friday, June 7, 2013

Franco Fridays: First Sight + American Cemetery

After our lunch at the Paulhiac's, we decided to walk from their home to the church.  It felt good to walk after sitting on the plane for so long, and we certainly had a lot of hills to climb.  Our walk led us up a steep hill to a park where we got our first glimpse of Paris and of what all Americans think of when they think of Paris:  The Eiffel Tower.

I had to keep reminding myself, "You're walking on French soil," and the Tower wouldn't let me deny it.

Shortly after trying to make myself grasp that I was on French soil, one of our first stops on the walk to the church was on American.  Just opposite the lookout point, as you can see, there was an American Cemetery, the only one in France, I think, where those who fought in both WWI and WWII are buried.  
The sight of all those crosses is very moving, though it was pointed out to us that crosses weren't the only markers there.

English + French inscription on opposite sides
of the building

I think it was KJ who suggested getting a picture with the American flag and the Eiffel Tower in the frame.

360,817 Americans gave their lives in WWII.

The memorials here were very beautiful, and I love the rhetoric found on them.  I want to think and hope that the choices we make as a country truly would be "that the world might live in freedom and inherit peace."  Especially since we were in France on V-E Day and a couple of weeks before the anniversary of D-Day, I was reminded that our soldiers truly did liberate those living in Nazi-occupied France.  And liberating the oppressed is a beautiful thing, a costly thing.

It didn't take me long to find a soldier from Alabama.

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