Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Remembrance Day 2014

The 11th day of the 11th month, and we gather at the village war memorial at 11:45 AM to offer homage to those who died for France in WWI, WWII and the Algerian War. Children lay a wreath, my friend Christiane who is the adjoint mayor offers a brief eulogy, and the names of the dead are read aloud by our mayor, Jacques Durand. After each name, we intone 'mort pour la France.' Two young children sing The Marseillaise, their little voices pure and sweet. And afterwards everyone gathers at the Mairie for a drink and a nibble. We have remembered the village war dead in this WWI centenary  year.

And thanks to two very interesting blog posts, I have remembered American war dead as well. By coincidence both blog authors are from Iowa where I used to live. The first by Joe Weeg offers a poignant look at Omaha Beach this day. Read "Do You Know Joseph Haymoff" here. Then ask yourself...what young men from your hometown might be lying there in the Omaha Beach cemetery.

Lori Erickson is a travel writer and ordained deacon in the Episcopal Church. Although she is based in Iowa City, her Spiritual Travels take her all over the world. Her post today, though, is about Iowa and an artist's project to honor its veterans. Read "Thanking Veterans, One Rock at a Time" here. As a former Iowa resident, let me explain a little about big rocks in Iowa....they are few and far between! The lack of rocks in the state is one thing that makes it a great farming state. Big rocks are quite special, then. When I lived in southern Iowa, we had neighbors who actually proudly moved their big rock to a prominent place by the lane to their house using it as a landscape feature.

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