Friday, November 11, 2005

Veteran's Day

Due to my work, I have been living in Europe for a number of years. During that time, I have been able to visit various battlefields and cemetaries around Europe to honor those who died fighting for freedom. In remembrance of Veteran's Day, here are some photos of those who were sacrificied "upon the altar of freedom".

This photo was taken at the Lorraine American Cemetary outside of the town of St. Avold in France. It is the biggest american World War II cemetary in Europe and contains 10,489 fallen soldiers.

This photo was taken at the Luxembourg American Cemetary outside of Luxembourg City in Luxembourg. It contains 5,076 fallen Americans.

Within the Luxembourg American Cemetary, is the grave of General George S. Patton. It can be argued that thanks to him and his actions, World War II ended much faster. (Don't say that to our British friends. They still think that Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery, "The Hero of Normandy", ended the war.)

This photo is from the Normandy American Cemetary in Normandy, France. 9,387 American servicemen are buried there.

Not to forget our Commonwealth Allies, here is a photo from the Commonwealth War Cemetary outside of Catania, Italy. 2,135 Commonwealth soldiers are buried there.

This is a photo of one of the Douamont World War I cemetary outside the town of Verdun in France. The edifice in the background is called the "ossuarie" ("os" means bone in French, so an "ossuarie" is where you dump bones) where the remains of an estimated 300,000 soldiers (French and German) are buried.

The final photo is from a German cemetary not far from the Luxembourg American Cemetary. In american cemetaries, each cross represents one fallen soldier. However, here, one cross represents four fallen German soldiers. The Allies became very adept at the end of the war at killing Germans. Many of the inscriptions on the crosses read "Ein Deutscher Soldat", which means, a german soldier.

I don't know about you, but whenever I visit one of the cemetaries, I reflect about these men who died defending freedom and I have been moved many times to tears. Many were my sainted father's age and they never had the chance to get married, have children and grow old. Like the song by Billy Ray Cyrus says, "All gave some, but some gave all". These men gave their all for us today.


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