Day 297: Normandy, France

20130518-230002.jpgWe made it to Normandy this afternoon. The sun was finally shining again, which helped to improve my mood. I’ve been grouchy for several reasons. I am homesick and sick and a bit tired. Kimmy’s graduation is today and I want to be there and not where I am. My volleyball girls had a weekend getaway and I missed it! I feel torn today and down, and it’s taken me longer than usual to snap out of it.

I have to really practice being present today and its been a struggle. Just keeping it real. I helped myself by thinking of Jeff’s granddad and the other soldiers who were probably so uncomfortable day after day, fighting the Germans, and all the sacrifices they had to make. Seriously, I have nothing to complain about and my discomfort is kinda stupid. I’m over myself… Just like that. Thanks for listening. 🙂

We started our day at Omaha beach, after a long drive from Lisse. We landed and walked on the beach, imagining the hell that others experienced there and not quite comprehending it all.
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After Omaha Beach, we drove to see the American Cemetery on the bluffs above Omaha Beach. That takes your breath away. Seeing all the headstones makes the numbers of casualties pop out at you and you can feel the sheer magnitude of loss and the human sacrifices that were made to fight evil.

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We walked through the entire field of headstones, noticing when people died, what state they were from and what their names where. We noticed how many more Christians than Jews were buried there.

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And we imagined PopPop fighting with the allies through Europe and are so thankful he survived the battle. We looked at the wall maps and Jeff pointed out the areas where PopPop landed and traveled with the 3rd army through France and Germany. Thank you PopPop for your years of service and thank you MamMam for keeping the family strong and together.

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While there, we ran into our friends and enjoyed sharing stories and our experiences so far. I was so happy to see them and can’t believe we were at the same place at the same time. We made plans to meet up for dinner afterwards in Bayeux.
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But before we got to Bayeux, we checked into our hotel and went to see Pointe Du Hoc.

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This is where the US Army rangers scaled the cliffs and seized the German gun emplacements. The kids loved this area because it was on the edge of the ocean and was filled with craters and bunkers that they could run around in and on top of.

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It’s crazy to think that the craters were created by bombs and naval gunfire.
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I finally snapped out of my funk at PDH. The kids were happy to be running around and exploring the craters and bunkers and I enjoyed watching them play. I think being near the ocean helps too! The views were gorgeous and calming.

We drove 30 minutes to Bayeux and met up with Bob and Greg for a late dinner. Bayeux is a magical town, and we arrived in time to catch some love entertainment both before and after dinner. I’ll leave you with a few pictures from the end to a great, long day.

Happy graduation day, Kimmy!

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Goodnight, from France.