World War II Memorial
I dedicate this to the memory of Jason Anderson who may not have died on the battlefield, but certainly died as a result of war and strife.
|I let the red of the flower bleed, just as the blood of countless soldiers and civilians shed their blood in this place.|
We had a choice in the afternoon of relaxing on the boat as it continued down the river or taking a World War II tour. Now I am basically a pacifist. I've never cared much for war history. But the chance to see more of the French countryside clinched the deal. I never imagined this would one of the most memorable stops on our tour.
We first pulled in to a small village which was the site of a small WW II Museum located in the basement of a building. Lots of memorabilia and artifacts. I soon got bored and explored the village and its most beautiful buildings and flowers.
As you can see, I love the windows and flower boxes!
My civic association would not approve of this choice of pink.
I think it's lovely
We drove up to a hilltop where our passionate Aussie tour guide told us the story of the final American resistance to get the Germans out of France. He could just point here and there and tell us who did what... the Texas boys...the Philadelphia boys..
We could picture the battle in our minds.
Then he proceeded to tells us the story of Audie Murphy, most decorated soldier ever. How he by himself held off an entire regiment of German soldiers and tanks from the one burning tank shown above. Because it was already burning, it was covered in smoke so the Germans had no idea it was just one man that they were fighting. He single handedly held them off for one hour and five minutes when the American reinforcements finally arrived and the tide turned. (Wiki) Murphy earned and received every decoration for valor that this country had to offer plus 5 decorations presented to him by France and Belgium.
This lovely memorial was on the very spot where he held off the Germans.
Notice the red poppies (paper) put there by people.
The red poppy is the symbol of fallen soldiers in France
Our guide was SO passionate about it all. He asked us for a long period of silence to reflect on all those who had died for our freedom. It was very moving.
After the war, Audie Murphy ended up appearing or starring in 44 films including "To Hell and Back" which is the story of his heroism in the war.
This is what was left of the church in the town after the bombings. It is a memorial now.
Notice it has a stork's nest on the top.
They really do love their storks!
Just last week, our book club read "Killing Patton" by Bill O'Reilly. So much of that book took place on the Rhine River that everything became vivid and real for me.
We must never forget!!