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Those whom we honored (the first eulogies)

There were eight teachers on our 2019 Understanding Sacrifice trip. Each of us had the honor of eulogizing one soldier or sailor who lost their lives during the war.

A statue at the top of the East Coast Memorial

The first two of us to do so were Leif and Gena. They each did so in April for sailors memorialized at the East Coast Memorial. Many of us have walked near or even by this memorial without realizing it. It's located in Battery Park.

I wasn't able to capture the specific names of Leif's and Gena's sailors from the tablets. These are two of the enormous tablets of those lost in the Battle for the Atlantic. 

With each eulogy I'm surprised at the way in which the fallen hero's story is unique and interesting. Leif memorialized a sailor lost at sea in what was first called an accident, then changed to killed in action decades later. Turns out U-Boats were operating off the Maine coast as late as May 1945. Gena somehow came across another real character, a naval officer who before the war was well connected with the radio scene and who could even count Dorothy Lamour among those whom he dated.

Once we arrived in Europe, we visited two cemeteries. One of the teachers in my crew, Jeannine eulogized a soldier buried at Brittany Cemetery. Suzy also read a eulogy for an Iowan prepared by Manion, a staff member from ABMC who at the last minute had to excuse herself from the trip.

The marker for Jeannine's soldier on a beautiful day at Brittany American Cemetery. 
This was my second visit to Brittany American Cemetery and it might be my favorite of the three that I have visited. The architect made a fairly serious effort to design the chapel in such a way as to complement the countryside near it. The focal point of the design is a chapel that looks rather modest. Inside there are a pair of murals on the two long walls showing the progress of the war. The arrangement of the graves is quite interesting, too. Their in neat curved arcs so as to resemble the badge for the Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force.  

Alan got permission for some of us to go up into the tower, which afforded some very nice views. 
The countryside surrounding Brittany American Cemetery
One enters the cemetery through a gate then proceeds by the rear of the chapel. 
Cathy and Merion

I don't know how often conditions are clear enough to see Mont-Saint-Michel from the tower. We had remarkably great weather all week. 


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