Thursday, December 20, 2007

Show and Tell...Part 3

The day we left Mont St. Michel, we took a little detour to the town of Sainte-Mere-Eglise. This ended up being a pretty emotional side trip. Sainte-Mere-Eglise is a small town in Normandy, but held great significance during WWII. June 6, 1944, better known as D-Day, Allied paratroopers descended onto the town in the early hours hoping to catch the German soldiers off guard. Little did they know, some buildings had caught fire so the people were up, out of bed, trying to put them out. The flames illuminated the paratroopers as they floated down. They were nothing but easy targets for the Germans. Many were killed. Paratrooper John Steele's parachute got hung up on the steeple of the church in the center of town. Because he acted like he was dead, he escaped with only a bullet wound to his heal. Regardless, Sainte-Mere-Eglise was the first town to be liberated.

The churches stained glass windows serve as a memorial to all the Ally troops who helped to bring Hitler's puppets down. If you look closely, you can see images of the paratroopers in the design...

It's really strange being in Normandy as an American. There are reminders everywhere of the wretched events that occurred some 70 years ago that we only read in history books. Overlooking our beloved town of Cherbourg is a German bunker, right there for all to see. Regardless of the image we, as Americans, think the French have of us, we (Collin and I) have seen their softer side. Our dear friends' parents lived through the Allied invasion. Dominique's mother, one of the sweetest people I am blessed to know, thanked us -*us* because we are American - over and over for saving her and her country. She loves the USA because of what they did. And her story is something else! (We love and miss you, Morvans!)

Anyhow, Show and Tell Part 4 coming soon....

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