The Longest Day

Happy Fourth of July! Usually we have a low-key day: we put a few decorations out and have a cookout. Today’s activities were on a much grander scale. We got up early to take the buses to the American Cemetery at Normandy, about a three-hour drive.

It was a faultless day and the cemetery is impressive and beautiful with its white marble markers and well-maintained plantings.

We sang our songs after a snafu involving another choir which was supposed to combine with us but didn’t, sucking up our preparation time. I thought we did a nice job with the songs, notwithstanding.

The cemetery overlooks Omaha beach. It is incredible to consider that those soldiers came ashore under heavy German fire from the cliffs above. Evidence of the price they paid was all around us.

We went down to the beach itself to eat our lunch. Itis a regular bathing beach which either seems ironic considering all the suffering that took place there or appropriate that families are able to enjoy the place quietly and in peace. I couldn’t decide which.

We then returned to a farewell dinner but it was all over but the shouting. Tomorrow it’s back on the airplane and then home.

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