Our last stop on the whirlwind tour of D-Day sites was the Normandy American Cemetery. With there being so many casualties in France, there was no way to get that many soldiers home to bury them stateside. This site began as a temporary cemetery during the D-Day invasions, and later became a project to become a battle monument to the fallen.
When we walked onto the cemetery grounds, it was like stepping back into America. Kentucky bluegrass covered the space, oak trees line the borders of the cemetery, and the rows of headstones are reminiscent of Arlington Cemetery in DC. The cemetery overlooks Omaha Beach, a fitting location for the resting place of almost 10,000 American soldiers who honorably gave their lives for the freedom of the world.
I was taken aback by the sheer number of graves here. The line of headstones seems to go on forever, and as we walked the grounds we saw the resting place of soldiers who were no older than high school seniors through seasoned military officers. It was eerie, humbling, and a reminder that freedom is never free.
Today marks the 75th anniversary of D-Day, and I hope that we remember the courage, bravery, steadfastness, sacrifice, and brotherhood that took place on this historic invasion that changed the course of World War II and the trajectory of human history. May we never forget that it is important to fight for the humanity of others, the cost of freedom, and the lesson that our shared experiences unite and connect us in the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood. May we be forever grateful for those who serve, have served, and give their lives for others each and every day. I hope I live a life worthy of their sacrifice and continue the work of unity in my life.