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Normandy/Ste. Mere Eglise Family Trip July 2018


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My family and I fulfilled a lifelong dream of mine this summer. We visited France and spent a few days in Normandy. We were able to place bouquets on several monuments while there. I specifically chose the certain monuments to honor men I served with Special Forces that were there on June 6,1944. We also placed a bouquet on the 101st Pathfinders monument on behalf of the National Pathfinder Association, of which Im a life member.

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And finally, when I went to sign the guest book in the church at Agonville Au Plain, I received a shock. There was a small framed memorial to one of my Special Forces buds who was KIA in Afghanistan, Sev Summers. It was placed by his family, but I had no idea it was there. Truly an emotional experience on top of the one just being in that hallowed area.

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Nice pics, very moving. You make it to a cemetary? Daughter and husband were there last month, sent 30 some pics of same places. She has gotten really interested in WWII, wonder where she got that, LOL. Want to go before I cant get around.

"The true Soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him" G.K. Chesterton

"A people that values it's privileges above its principles will soon lose both" D.D. Eisenhower


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Thanks, guys! I did make it to the cemetery, just in time for Taps. I will tell you that I could not keep it together. After the flag was lowered and folded, I told my kids that when youre at a place like that during Retreat and you see the flag being lowered and hear Taps, its for everyone you ever knew that didnt make it, not just those present. They both said they intuitively knew that was the deal. The whole area is humbling and amazing.

 

I also went to the US beaches, Dead Mans Corner and other places. Didnt get to the British beaches, Pegasus Bridge and a lot of other places. If yall havent been you must go. But dont make the mistake I did: not enough time. You need at least 5 days to a week to do it justice. You do need to go while youre mobile. Its not all disability friendly and requires a fair amount of walking.

 

I did also donate a copy of my original A Co. 505th PIR pre-deployment yard long to the Ste. Mere Eglise Airborne Museum. It features Pvt. Bob Murphy, 82nd Pathfinder. Magali Mallette, the Museum Director was delighted. I was unaware of this, but they have a display of Airborne yard longs right by the front door of the C-46 building. They did not have one of A 505. Bob Murphy is largely responsible for the existence of the museum and the anniversary celebrations, so hes like a Patron Saint to Ste. Mere Eglise.

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My wife and I visited in August. We spent four days there. Visited all the beaches, several museums, churches, monuments. You can easily spend several more days there. It was a humbling experience. Something I’ll never forget.

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The window inside the church at Agonville Au Plain. It was designed by the WW II mayors son, 12 years old in 1944. Notice the 501st DUI. Sorry for poor quality photo!

Thanks for the pictures! Angoville-au-Plain is a very special place in my opinion. Here's a picture of the same stained glass window I took in 2015.

 

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Rene

Never give in - never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense.

 

Churchill

 

Keep buggering on.

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  • 9 months later...

The window inside the church at Agonville Au Plain. It was designed by the WW II mayors son, 12 years old in 1944. Notice the 501st DUI. Sorry for poor quality photo!

That window was actually designed and built by a guy from right here in Arizona. I've been there several times and met him here when I came back home.

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  • 2 months later...

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