In a world that seems to have almost vanished I visited the American Military Cemeteries in France. If I had traveled there in the more recent past I would have taken at least 100 photographs and have an album on Facebook, but on that trip in 1985 I may have taken a dozen pictures and if I was lucky, one or two of them were clear. Of that long ago trip to the Normandy beaches this lone photograph remains.
But what remains with the photograph are my memories and feelings. I was thirty five that summer, but I realized that the heros of Normandy -- or Anzio or the Pacific -- were in many cases just slightly more than half my age. They stormed beaches under fire, went through jungles, or in my father's case, fought through at least one bitter winter in Europe. My father came home, but these soldiers didn't. To them, and those who went before them and to those who followed them and continue to follow, we owe the freedoms we enjoy.
Thank you doesn't begin to express the gratitude I felt on a July day in Normandy. It still doesn't express the gratitude I feel thirty one years later.
In gratitude and remembrance.