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    Posted September 7, 2009 by
    yadray
    Location
    Paris, France
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Your World War II stories

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    WW II American Cemetery in Normandy, France

     

    Paris..I have spent much of the past 20 years in a small village, Laulne (no stores or any form of commerce) which is located in the heart of the WW 11 Normandy battlefields.   The farmhouse in which I stay is directly across from the fields on which the American forces were encamped after the invasion.  All of the houses and chateaus which still remain after the heavy bombardment and fierce fighting were occupied by German soldiers prior to the invasion.  (the local people say that one soldier died for ever square meter of land).  During the German occupation, my wife's family, along with all of the other inhabitants left their homes and lived for long periods in trenches.  The area is rich in history which dates back to the 9th century and  William the Conqueror and the Crusades..(future reports in preparation)...

     

    some background:....One late afternoon in the beginning of August my wife and I were returning by bicycle from the small village of Lessay 10 kms. from our home and I stopped to take photos of a magnificent 18th century farm, fronted by a water-lily pond and surrounded by 300 year-old oak trees.  A man, Monsieur Philippe Mugler, appeared from inside the house, greeted us warmly and invited us in to share an aperitif.. meet his wife... his brother and other memlbers of Philippe's family  who were spending their holidays with he and his wife.

     

    Over the next week we visiited each other often...talked about...well, everything...especially the rich 1,000 history of the area and  WW 11..and Normandy Invasion...referred to by the French as the Liberation....Philippe belongs to an association of French people who, out of their profound respect and gratitude to the American soldiers, visits the American Cemetery...which is about 60 kms. from his home, and for years has placed flowers on the graves of the GI's...

     

    Philippe also brought us to the German War Cemetery which is near that of the American...that is another story...very different...and one which I hope to write about in the near future...

     

    Much thanks to Mr. Mugler and his wife, both of whom I look forward to seeing very soon...

     

    Interesting footnote....Before shooting the video, I had no idea that "taps" would be played or that the timing would correspond exactly with what I had origianlly planned would be the end of Mr.Mugler's ceremony...coincidence/luck?...some say there is no such thing...

     

    Without doubt...a visit to the cemetery rivals any sight-seeing you can do anywhere in the world...and please, remember to bring flowers.

     

    All the photos were taken in the cemetery and I believe are self-explanatory...#9 is a map which indicates the most important beaches on which the Allied forces landed.

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