When I opened the door of the van it hit me immediately. The place felt alive, even though it is filled with death. It was quiet. It was pretty. The wind was blowing and it was overcast, but the crosses of the American cemetery and memorial where glowing bright, clouds could not stop the sun from reflecting life off each pristine marker.
To walk the beaches of Normandy – see the garbage of war still littered – is to understand why Memorial Day is not a day off from work; it is a day to reflect. I am not a soldier. I am not a flag-waiving patriot. I don’t get the military and I don’t feel connect to any war, peacekeeping mission or conflict I have read about or seen on the news. But I am a grateful American who walked in the path that killed many and in so doing I was forever branded with gratefulness for their sacrifice.