Lest we forget

I have been fortunate over the years through my travels to experience a number of poignant moments that have been burned deep in my memory.  Some are by chance, some are by design.  In that latter category, on a trip to France a little more than four years ago, my love and I made a trip to Normandy to visit Juno Beach, the interpretive centre commemorating the Canadian forces that landed on the beach on June 6, 1944, and to visit the Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery in Reviers.  The grey of the morning with the wind and rain in our faces as we stood on the beach set a tone for our time in Normandy.  For me, the most emotional experience I have ever had while traveling happened a few hours later.  The clouds had given way to a beautiful late summer afternoon as we arrived at the cemetery.  With nary a breeze, the only sounds were the hushed exchanges of the handful of visitors and the singing of birds in the trees.  The sight of more than two thousand grave markers laid out across the immaculately manicured lawn was overwhelming.  I was filled with sadness and pride, awe and thankfulness.  I felt somehow more Canadian in this foreign land in that moment, more humble, more aware.  Then there was the first of an uncountable number of grave markers with the names and birth dates of mere teenagers who made the greatest of sacrifices.  With tears in my eyes, I walked away from my love not wanting her to see me cry.   She took this picture which hangs on a wall of our house, capturing the essence of the visit and the impact on both of us.  Lest we forget.

Bény-sur-Mer Canadian War Cemetery

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2 thoughts on “Lest we forget

  1. Pingback: Champagne trip to Reims | Bluenose Traveler

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