I’m guilty of getting restless on trips. I always want to pack more into the day, usually wanting to do one thing more than we really have time to do. Ask Sherry. She can give you many examples. This itch caught me again on our last full day in Normandy, after the students finished their eulogies and after our time had ended at the Cemetery.
We had an outside lunch schedule, but the weather looked foreboding. Forecasts called for thunderstorms. But the heavens hadn’t opened yet. They had mercifully held off during the eulogies (Don’t worry, though, they opened later, drenching me during a walk back in Bayeux around 5:30. In fact, it rained so hard I bought the world’s smallest portable umbrella, which will soon become the property of Caroline).
Cautious, we decided that it was best to eat on the bus rather than outside. But, I asked if I could go one beach further. Instead of eating then and there, could I go down to the First Infantry Division memorial? Could I take interested kids with me? The answer was yes and about a dozen and a half of us advanced down the hill.
Splendid! There were a few craters. There was a fortified German position in decent shape into which we could crawl. Other German strongpoints were visible but out of our reach in the time that we had.
But what was most meaningful to me was that we had a chance to view the approximate location where Bill died. From the German strongpoint, one could look at the approximate area where his company would have been at the time of his death. Time and tide didn’t allow me to get to the beach, but it meant a lot to be able to view the position. Perhaps we were even in the position near the sniper who killed Bill had been perched.
|Looking out from German strong point at Easy Red, where I believe Bill's unit was pinned down at the time of his death.|
|Some of our scholars.|
|A German bunker.|
I’m glad I had the chance to go. I’m even more glad nearly twenty other kids and grownups did too. Adventures are a lot more fun when they’re not solo.