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.....
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.