Growing up in France, I was privileged to have lived much of American history overseas. We traveled across Europe stopping at sights around every turn of the road. Among Nice, Paris, Milan, the Rhine river, the Black Forest, Switzerland, Austria there were those excursions that Dad would take because it was something he wanted to see.
I saw the Marginot line along Germany and France were the French held off the German attack until the German broke through in Belgium. I remember walking these lines of bunkers seeing left over dog tags, helmets, and guns.
But more than those memories, I vividly remember the American cemetaries in Europe. White crosses and perfectly manicured lawns pepper the landscape. There was one on the way to school in Orleans, France. The notible ones on Omaha and Normandy beaches. And every year on Memorial Day the pristine white crosses were adorned with flags. Every single cross had it's own flag. I used to wonder who went out and planted each one so perfectly. I know now. It is those who are left behind and who remember. As a token of thanks for giving their lives so that others may live.
This year, our trip to the cemetary will be most difficult. There is a new grave in the family plot. Our nephew, 26 year old Micah, went to be with Jesus this past January. So along with a few flags, I'll be taking a white rose for a young man who left us too soon...
Have a wonderful Memorial Day.