The Transylvania Times -

A Reader Responds To Normandy, D-Day Invasion Article


June 28, 2018

A visitor wipes away the sand from a tombstone at Normandy to highlight the soldier's name. Visitors often fill plastic buckets with sand from the beach to highlight the names on the tombstones to make for a clearer photograph.

(Editor's Note: The following was written by Rick Rogers, a retired law professor at Campbell University Law School, to D.G. Martin after reading Martin's article referencing Normandy and the D-Day invasion.)


Do you have any family buried at Normandy? I do - and the graciousness of the French attendants at the cemetery is effusive and sincere.

I simply asked for a map and directory of the graves. "Are you a relative?"

"Well, yes. He was my uncle - my mother's brother - but I never knew him. He died here before I was born."

The names in the tombstones are clearer to read in photographs after wiping sand into the engraved names.

And that's all it took. He swept Nancy and me into a golf cart and drove us out to the grave, detouring to the beach to fill a plastic play bucket with wet sand.

I recall he said, "Thank you" repeatedly as he puttied the wet sand into my uncle's inscription "... to make a clearer photograph for your family records."

There was an impromptu, touching ceremony. We came home with two small flags (one French, one American) and the conviction that deep gratitude persists for the French liberation.

It is fitting we returned the favor they gave us in our Revolution. I believe neither country would exist without the other. Yet I sense that our gratitude today doesn't quite match theirs.

Bayoux is one of our all-time places to visit. We spent a week there about 18 months ago and I hope to do it again before another year passes.




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