All posts tagged: Normandy

Remembering D-Day

Seventy-five years ago today, almost 160,000 troops from the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States — including smaller contingents from Australia, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, France, Greece, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway and Poland — invaded Nazi-occupied Europe on the beaches of Normandy.  Over the next three months of fighting, 209,000 Allied troops would die before the Nazis were pushed back across the Seine. June 6, 1944 — D-Day — should never be forgotten. It was a time when the countries of the world came together to combat bigotry, racism, and hatred.  Many men and women made the ultimate sacrifice in that fight. To be in Britain for the 75th anniversary is a reminder of our better natures.  We began to see the remembrances of the anniversary as we stepped off the bus in the small Cotswald village of Chipping Campden last week.  There, in the center of this beautiful High Street, was a small World War I memorial covered with poppies, the now almost-universal symbol of remembrance for those killed in war. This week, …

Hiroshima 1945 / 2019

Pearl Harbor. Normandy Beach. Hiroshima. Names, places, memories, and lessons we should never forget. Last week I was moved beyond words by time spent at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Garden and Museum in Japan. In fundamental ways the experience mirrored my reactions during visits in recent years to Pearl Harbor and Normandy Beach. The world at the time of those earlier visits seemed more stable than it does in 2019. Just a few years ago we didn’t have out-of-control individuals in positions of immense power in the United States; individuals threatening to use nuclear weapons against other nations and people just because the capability exists. Instead, we had leaders who sought, at least at some fundamental levels, to try and unite us as a people and as a world. There seemed to be adults in charge who had the memories to understand the horror to humankind of nuclear war. As John Hersey, the author of the landmark 1946 piece on Hiroshima in The New Yorker, once wrote: “What has kept the world safe from the …

A Wonderful Week

Travel for work often deserves the brickbats thrown its way. But then there are the sublime trips that more than make it all worthwhile. My travel last week falls in the latter category. As posted here, here, here, here, and here, Candice and I have been on the road, seeing a variety of special places with friends and supporters of the National Trust. But because internet connections were slow-to-nonexistent on the road, I kept the posts short and to the point. So this is my “bring it all home” post.  I’ll give a short update of each stop, and then will post several new photos from that portion of the trip that weren’t included in the original updates. Our first port was Porto, Portugal, a wonderful city with a historic center that has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  It was a great kick-off, with a strong mix of monumental buildings and streets full of markets like the one at the top of the post.  We saw the coffee shop where J.K. Rowling wrote …

Remembering Their Sacrifice

  Our last day touring in Europe was the most emotional. If you don’t cry, you may not have a soul. We saw Normandy, and the place names from the U.S. that will resonate through history:  Utah Beach, Omaha Beach. We walked among row after row of headstones at the American cemetery.  Crosses and Star of Davids.  Most with names of men who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Some whose names are known only to God. And it was made all the more personal because of a chance encounter last week.  When we were headed out the door to leave on this trip, we saw our 90-year-old next-door neighbor and told him we were going to Europe and would visit Normandy. “I’ve never been to Normandy,” he said, “but I was flying over it on D-Day, trying to take out a German gun placement.”  We can’t wait to show August the photos of the beaches and,  yes, the craters that remain from the bombs that fell on that day. Heroes all — and they even live …