January 10, 2006
Today would have been my father’s 98th birthday. Like his five brothers, he was a veteran of World War II. This past Sunday, I visited Normandy and the American cemetery here in France to honor him, his brother Everett who was in the second wave to hit Omaha Beach, and the rest of “the greatest generation.”
Having seen many pictures of the region, I was still not prepared for the grandeur of the scene and the incredible challenge of the task – to dislodge the Germans and to free the French people.
There are ten thousand crosses and stars of David in the cemetery. On the day of my visit, hardly anyone was there. The serenity was much appreciated.
One walks down row upon row, with the distinctive grave markers lined up perfectly as in a military assembly. Most were very young. They are from every state and territory. I silently thank them and thank God for them. Because of what they did I am free to come here and Europe is not under Nazi rule.
A thought came to me as I walked among the markers: the cost of war is the price of freedom.