memorial day

Coat of Arms of the Largest American Cemetery in France

Dave posting again. I just want to say this...

Our neighbor down the lane, Roger (Ro-ZHAY), is 71 years old and one of the nicest people you'll meet. But he is also outspokenly critical of the Bush administration, the Iraq War, and American energy consumption. Sometimes it's hard to hear his criticisms. After all, we'll always be proud Americans.

About two weeks ago I stopped to talk to him when we saw each other on our street. During our conversation Roger told me that during World War II his father had housed and fed soldiers from the French Resistance, who were fighting to liberate France from the occupying Germans. The penalty for helping the French Resistance was arrest and prison, if not death on the spot.

One night, when Roger was six years old, German soldiers knocked on the door of his house. Because his father had recently been hiding some Resistance soldiers there, Roger said he and his brother were terrified. Afraid that they had been found out by the soldiers, afraid that the Germans would take their father, afraid that they might never see him again.

Turns out, Roger said, that they were planning a party and just wanted to buy an animal or two for the event. They agreed on a price, the soldiers left happy, and everyone breathed a sigh of relief.

"But I will never forget how frightened I was," he said. And he leaned towards my car window and looked at me. "And I will never forget what the Americans did for us," he said. "And my children will never forget it. We will never forget it."

He's not the only one who feels this way. I drove away with tears in my eyes.


Blogger Sue said...

That was very nice Dave.
I also will never forget.
My Father was there.
My uncle died on the beach at Normandy.
I wish more people here in the U.S.A. remembered why we have a Memorial Day.

Blogger hughes family said...

my favorite pbs series is "The War" and i have learned so much about WWII. Thanks for writing about this story about your neighbor. We have every right to be very proud of our country.

Blogger Vicki said...

What a nice story. It is good to know the French are grateful for the sacrifices Americans made for them. We all need to be grateful for sacrifices made by those who serve in the military. We owe much of our freedom to them. My Dad was a Navy diver on an aircraft carrier during WWII who retrieved bodies of pilots who were shot down. He never could talk much about his assignment because memories of it made him feel so sad.


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