Thursday, September 10, 2015
Remembering D-Day - 70 Years After
(Written in July 2014 in the town of Wertach)
A very strange feeling. Sitting in the Bavarian Alps, watching all the coverage of the 70th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Normandy surrounded by those who have a very different point of view of the event.
A few days ago, we visited the local churchyard, and found gravestones for young men who never made it home alive during those war years. A memorial with a large statue of a German soldier, furled flag over his shoulder, looks out over Wertach, gazing towards the nearby Alps. The associated plaque remembers those from this small village who sacrificed all during both the Great War of 1914-1918 as well as the second World War of 1939-1945.
A number of the individual stones bear engraved representations of the Eiserne Kreuz, or Iron Cross, next to the soldiers’ names. The large national cemeteries located in Normandy certainly convey the magnitude of the losses, but it is these memorials in small towns which remind us of the personal aspect of that terrible war and its affects on so many.