Thursday, May 26, 2016

Memorial Day - A Study of Valor

                                                      We cherish, too, the Poppy red
                                                 That grows on fields where valor led;
                                                        It seems to signal to the skies
                                                 That blood of heroes never dies.....
                                                                                                                           Moina Michael

Memorial Day has always been a day for Americans to pay tribute to those people who have died while serving the United States in the armed forces.  We can't tell them thank you in person anymore, but we can take the time to remember them.  This year I think Memorial Day has a special meaning for me.  It is different because Sam and I have spent the past year reading and studying a lot of military history.  We are preparing for a trip that Sam has wanted to make for many years.  In a few months we are traveling to the Normandy coast in France to visit the D-Day beaches where so much history took place.  Sam has had a keen interest in WWII for a long time and a special passion for the events that occurred on June 6th, 1944.  We are taking 4 full days - one day on Omaha Beach, one day on Utah Beach, one day on Gold and Sword, and one day on Juno.

Sam reads military history constantly and is very knowledgeable.  As we prepared for this trip, I was determined to be more than a tourist.  I wanted to "know my stuff."  The planning and training and secrecy that started so long before that June morning.  The enormity of the equipment and supplies needed to support the largest air, land, and sea operation in the history of the world.  What and who did the Germans have in place to defend the coastline from the invasion they knew was coming?  The key planners and generals that each played a vital role in Operation Overlord.  The major battles that took place on those 5 beaches.  And the thousands of soldiers who assembled for this undertaking.

As Sam and I read together, there are times where we have to put the books down for a while because our voices will crack and the tears come to our eyes.  The carnage on that June day was horrific.  No matter how often we read about what happened to those men, it affects us the same way again and again.

So for all the soldiers we always remember on the last Monday in May and for those soldiers who served and lost their lives on June 6th, 1944, we will never forget you, and we can never thank you enough. 



  1. Ella,
    You and Sam will have an inspirational time. Jack and I have walked those beaches often in silence as we take in the huge significance and great difficulty witnessed on those beaches. I felt very proud of my country and the brave men who died there.

  2. Wow Elle...some of my friends who have visited those beaches said they very much felt the spirits of those who lost their lives there...that it was very emotional, so be prepared. Have a wonderful time.

    Hugs and blessings...Cat

  3. Hi Ella, what a lovely post. My husband too is an avid history buff. I hope you enjoy your trip, getting nearer to us, England next
    love Jan, xx

  4. Oh Ella, a lovely post. That will be a very emotional trip.


  5. My father was a WWII vet. He didn't land on D-Day, but soon after. He would be honored to know people still are moved by the sacrifice made by so many.

  6. We honor all those soldiers by never forgetting...freedom is not free. My father and all 8 of his brothers served, my dad was the youngest, he had to lie about his age to enlist. What a wonderful trip.
    hugs abby

  7. Hi Ella, lovely post and tribute to those who have served and continue to serve in our allied forces and their families. I hope you have a wonderful trip.


  8. Ella what a beautiful post in honour of all those who served. Will be wonderful and emotional walking in their footsteps. Enjoy your trip.
    Hugs Lindy

  9. The sacrifices made by those men and women who landed on those beaches boggles the mind.

  10. Harry is also very knowledgeable about the history of both world wars. We have walked those beaches and also crossed Pegasus Bridge when it was still in situ. It is a humbling experience.
    Rosie xx

  11. Lovely post. I hope you have a meaningful time in Normandy.