A woman spoke of her father being involved with the memorial commission which established American cemeteries around the world, wherever American troops had fallen. He was in charge of the grounds in Europe, and she said that when he went on inspection tours, they stayed with the French superintendents of the cemeteries. She and her brothers slept on the floor of a room which had French doors open to the air. She spoke of being awakened by the diaphanous curtains moved by breezes brushing her face and looking out in the moonlight on thousands of white marble crosses which glowed in that nocturnal light. Her account was poetic and breathtaking.
Another woman told me of one of her grandfathers, whom she had interviewed along with the other three grandparents about their experiences during the war. She said he contracted spinal meningitis aboard the troop ship to England, so he was the first one off. Since he could not serve in combat in his condition, he rode a bicycle as part of his rehabilitation and delivered messages.
These stories reminded me once again that, in the words of Abraham Lincoln, it was the brave men (and women) who struggled and died so that our noble experiment in democracy should not perish from the earth. We owe them a debt of gratitude we can never repay. I want to thank these ladies who shared their stories with me and hope that they will write them down themselves.