Memorial Day means more to me this year than ever before, due to a visit to the Normandy American Cemetery my family made when Gwynly and I visited our daughter in France over Christmas last year.
As I think of the many who made the ultimate sacrifice, tears come to my eyes, just as they did when I beheld the staggering number of white crosses in the cemetery overlooking Omaha Beach. (This is only a small section.)
As we prepared for the visit, I knew I’d be moved, but I wanted a way to feel a closer connection to the many who gave their lives fighting to bring an end to Hitler’s battle for world domination. This video, which I saw posted on Facebook, gave me that.
This touching tale of a widow who waited over 60 years to find out what happened to her husband moved me deeply. Peggy Harris’s husband, 1ST LT Billie D. Harris, died July 17, 1944, fifteen years to the day before I was born.
When we headed to the cemetery, I had a grave to locate. I chose to pay tribute to this brave man who not only gave his life but saved many others’ lives by avoiding a small French village when his plane went down.
I’m grateful for every service member who made the ultimate sacrifice in defending the freedoms we in the U.S. enjoy. My heart goes out to those whose loved ones died while serving our country and defending its ideals.