Tag Archives: War

March 18, 2017 – Thoughts on our trip – 3- France

Have to start by saying today was a wonderful day.  Temps in the 50’s and we took a hike in Rock Creek Park in DC and it was delightful.  Being in the woods, walking along a river, climbing hills and walking down them again.  The girls were wonderful and good sports.  We will all sleep well tonight.  The parents are out having a date night which we always try to provide for them when we come down.

So, now thoughts about France. We both enjoyed our visit to France. Going to Normandy was a good thing to do and I think we could have used one more day to see all that I wanted to see or maybe even two.  The hotel we stayed at in Bayeux was lovely and they were very helpful to us.  The one in Rouen on the other hand was not so nice and I would not send anyone else there who speaks English.  Or I would take a refresher course in French before returning there but would not stay at that hotel.  They were rude and the idea that a hotel in a tourist area only has staff that speak French is weird. No where else that we visited on this trip or others have we run into a problem where hotel staff could not assist us and just gave us the “No English” statement.  Not even the staff in the little restaurant for breakfast were helpful.

Seeing just one of the cemeteries from WWII was moving.  The men were so young and there were unmarked graves, they know the soldier was a Brit but they did not find their ID.  I imagine today they should be able to use DNA to figure out who they were.  We did not get to the Juno Beach as I wanted but that was because I was sick to my stomach that morning..  I think more time is needed to deal with and confront feelings as one visits the various sites.  By the time my Aunt Pat arrived in Mid July 1944 the troops had moved on as they were pushing back the German’s pretty quickly at that point.  Things were slower in Belgium and that is where Pat really experienced bombing and large numbers of soldiers coming in quickly from the front either to be fixed up to be sent home or to have their hands held as they died. And some went back to fight another day.

War is not something I have ever had to confront myself and even during the Viet Nam War I did not have close friends that I knew were there.. I might have found out about old classmates much later but not during the actual War.  And I do know if my brother had been drafted I would have taken him to Canada and left him there. No way would I have wanted him over there. It was a useless war and not one that brought about feelings of patriotism.  They were no direct threat to us so why were we fighting them.

But in WWII it was obvious that we needed to be there.  I had two aunts, and one uncle actually over there near or in the battle areas.  Also another Uncle worked with the US on developing treatments for those coming back with what we now call PTSD.  I found some articles he had written about this.  And on my Dad’s side he had cousins who lived in England fighting from the very beginning of the Brits being involved. And some lost their lives.  I never knew any of this but research has opened up those pages of the family history in both World Wars.

France was nice but either we needed longer or a different approach to our visit.  Maybe going their first and then up to Belgium might have helped give a clearer feeling about Pat’s travels. I will never know one way or the other now will I?




June 16, 2015 – “Dance Lightly with LIfe”

“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so”

                                                       William Shakespeare

This quote from Shakespeare is so true.  Goes back to the whole idea of judging others.  I decide what is good or bad and then respond. What I thought was bad when I was 35 is not what I think is bad today. I imagine we all do that. somethings like killing I hope we all find bad but then there are people who support the death penalty so I guess they don’t object to killing. I don’t like war but I do acknowledge that in some circumstances war is necessary. Iraq was not a necessary war and all the fighting going on now all over the world is fall out from that.  I feel so sorry for all those people in the middle east who have had their lives disrupted.  We owe them big time.

I think most politicians went into politics thinking they were going to make a difference in the lives of people in a good way, but once they get into the system they seem to become totally influenced by the money and status and forget about the good of citizens.  A good example is this new trade bill they are trying to pass.  The idea of giving foreign companies the right to set up shop in the US or Canada and if they destroy the environment we cannot sue them is a total sell out of our countries.  And there are a bunch of other items in that treaty that would be to our detriment.  Why, oh why would any politicians support this unless they were going to financially benefit from it all.

oh well, enough of thoughts for today. Had a nice lunch with my friend Jeanne. And went to my last Tai Chi class until the fall. Going to miss everyone there.  Also got some of the house cleaned up.but lots more to do before I can leave here.

The letter yesterday was the last one that is transcribed before Pat went home to die. I have to find the letter my grandmother wrote to my mother after the funeral about Pat’s final days.  My Grandfather was with her when she died. She had planned her own funeral because she did not want things to be dreary and sad. I don’t know how it could not have been heartbreaking for all.  The wake was at her parents home.  So many of the wakes were at home back when we were growing up. It was fascinating to me attending a wake in the house.  Women would be pouring coffee and tea in the dining room and there was food put out to feed those who came.  In the evening I remember parents sitting around the dining room table with drinks having great discussions. Some times the older teens or young adults would get involved.  All very interesting to watch.

So no letter tonight. I have to figure out what to share next.  I have 20 years of diaries of Charles O’Connor my gr grandfather. Or I can go and start on Sheila’s letters.  Any thoughts?  Family preference.  Once I get to the school house I am sure I will find more letters of Pats so will have more to share.