“It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.”
– Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863
I have always been interested in World War II history and recently had the opportunity to visit the memorials in Normandy, France. The feelings I experienced at the American Cemetery are difficult to describe. Sadness for the vast numbers of casualties. Pride for the bravery of so many who fought for freedom. Regret that I had never, and possibly never could, fully comprehend and appreciate the sacrifice of so many. The above photographs were taken at the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial. Laid to rest here are 9,387 of our brave service men and women.
Perhaps living in the United States, at a safe distance from the actual battle sites of the second great war, keeps us as Americans numb to the realities of war. Let us always remember and be thankful for those who die so that we may enjoy this undeserved freedom. God Bless America!
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