One of the things I love about being a flight attendant is meeting people and learning more about them.
I was on a layover in Austin this past weekend and met a cute 80 year old women named Micheline. After talking for a few minutes I learned that she grew up in Normandy, France. During World War II her family fled the bombings in Normandy to find safety in Paris. Just two weeks after moving to Paris their home was bombed. Her family waited 6 hours under the rubble for help to arrive but sadly two of her siblings didn't survive. Micheline was in the hospital for 6 months while her mom spent the year recuperating. Towards the end of our conversation Micheline said that living through World War II made her "strong as a bull".
Micheline was in Paris when the soldiers came a shore on the D-Day Beaches. A few years ago I visited the Beaches and Cemetery in Normandy.
The Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial is located on a bluff overlooking Omaha Beach. Over 9000 soldiers that lost their lives in Normandy were buried there. The families of the deceased had the choice to have the remains buried in Normandy or flown home. About 60% chose to have the bodies flown home while the rest stayed in Normandy.
Sometimes we take our freedom for granted. I know I do but when you visit the D-Day Beaches and Cemetery you are grateful for the freedoms gained on June 6, 1944 on the Western coast of France. I think every American, Brit and Canadian should visit Normandy if given the chance. It's just a 2-3 hour drive from Paris. In upcoming post I'll write about things to see near Normandy.