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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day 2009

Today we took a trip to the Lorraine American Military Cemetery in St. Avold, France for the Memorial Day ceremony.  It is the largest WWII American Cemetery in Europe. It was almost overwhelming.

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The surrounding area is quiet and peaceful and the entrance to the cemetery is green and beautiful.  You have to walk up a hill to get to the actually cemetery.  At the top of it is the memorial chapel.  This is it from the front, but you approach from the back.DSC_0808 

Just as you crest the rise, the cemetery itself comes into view.  The sheer number of crosses is astounding.

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The cemetery is 113 acres and is the resting place of over 10,500 US soldiers.

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The US Girl Scouts in Germany teamed up with the French Scouts (co-ed) to place flags on each grave.  That’s more than 21,000 flags.  They also carried in each of the wreaths that were laid by various people with a connection to the cemetery. 

The gentleman standing to the far right of this photo is a WWII vet who fought in France.

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Past and present military were present, as were French military.

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It was a solemn day that will be with us for years to come.  As you spend your Memorial Day with friends and family at barbeques or picnics celebrating the beginning of summer, please take a moment to think about all those who serve today, those who served and fought in the past, and especially those who never made it home.

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9 comments:

Fiona said...

Amen. And those who came home but left behind them their health. My grandfather lost an eye in Korea, and so many men and women lost a lot more than that.

It looks like a beautiful place, thank you for the photos.

Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Well said! Have you been to the memorial in Bastogne? I liked that one a lot!

My sister currently serves as a nurse in the AF, and her fiance flies Black Hawks for the Army. They've both been to Iraq and back once, and he deploys again in Sept.

I'm very proud of the military heritage we have in our family on both sides in several generations. :)

Allison said...

Beautiful. I love all the flags on the graves...

I remember how overwhelming it was when we visited there.

tales from an oc cottage said...

WOW! What an experience!

m ^..^

Amanda said...

All I can say is wow! 10,500 US troops, makes my eyes tear! Thank you for posting your lovely photos!
I'm posting pictures from my trip to Gettysburg today on my blog tomorrow, but your's made me catch my breathe! Thanks again for the reminder.

Jessica said...

Looks like a beautiful cemetery. You took a lot of great pics. I didn't even know they had cemetery's for U.S. military people around the world. I guess I'd never thought about it.

Rhonda Parker said...

The ultimate sacrifice by so many people - thank you for the post.... what a sight. Thank you to all of our trooops and those who have laid down their lives for our freedoms. God Bless America and our troops. God Bless your husband for serving our great country.

Nice to "meet you" in blogland.

Rhonda from California

Sarah said...

We were there as well. We didn't know there was a ceremony, though. What time was it?

We stopped by on our way back from a long weekend in Paris, so we didn't get there until about 2 PM.

Michelle said...

I was there too; I live near St Avold. The cemetary is so beautiful and restful and is given the utmost in loving care. I also have "someone to visit" (I "adopted" one of the 11 girls buried there - she's no relation but I wanted to do something) and take flowers to.

The Veterans day ceremonies are always in the morning ; you can find the times on the ABMC website fir each year. There are videos of each cemetary on the American Battle Monuments commission website.

Ya'll come back again now...we surely are pleased to have you!

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