Donna at Brynwood Needleworks said we have until Monday June 6 to link up for Memory Lane Mondays and that's when I decided to do this post after all.
I say after all, because I had thought perhaps I was posting about war too much - but, after reading her post, I thought perhaps I should - especially because her Memory post references Memorial Day...
June 6 is an important day in world history - June 6, 1944.
We have spent the last few days reflecting heavily on Operation Overlord, the "Debarquement" and it has been a sad reflection indeed. But also a proud one.
We have seen Juno Beach, Utah and Pointe du Hoc...
A diplomat from the British Foreign Office once told me Juno Beach (the Canadian landing site in Normandy) was a peaceful place, where the memorial and the beach connect, and the town of Courseilles-Sur-Mer is steps away.
An unassuming place, where the way to the beach is as you would have found it even before the war, and the museum rises out of the dunes just behind it, respectful, very Canadian. He was right.
He said Omaha is sad.
The cemetery is on the beachhead, high above the sand and crashing surf.
It is the most meticulously cared for cemetery and memorial I have ever seen, and it is by far the saddest.
We came up the stairs from the Information Centre, turned the corner and stopped - everyone did. That first sight of the crosses is overwhelming, staggering.
You've just spent the past sixty minutes reading plaques and watching movies, all telling tales of heroism and sacrifice, brotherhood and patriotism, and you are feeling full of pride and glory and victory.
And reality comes at you swiftly, cutting you down, you fall to your knees and suddenly you can't catch your breath.
Row upon row upon row of white crosses, and when you think you must surely be coming to the end you realize you are but half way.
The rows of white crosses continue still.
I'm not sure how long we walked among the rows, looking at the names here and there, turning at this point, walking that way, in a daze, with no rhyme or reason to our meandering.
But then Omaha defies rhyme and reason.
He was right again.
Sorrow and pride are big emotions, the biggest really. And they fill that cemetery to bursting, all 172 acres of it.
The cemetery at Omaha Beach is among the most beautiful; the men and women that were laid to rest there fought for freedom, certainly, but they also fought for more than that.
They fought for a world where people could live without fear, and in their fight they showed us that great things can be achieved by many,
by a few,
and sometimes even by one.
We Will Remember.