On Memorial Day Weekend here in the United States we remember those that served and died for freedom. A few years back while in France, I went to the Brittany American Cemetery to honor my uncle, John Doran, by visiting his grave. It is very sobering to see the rows and rows of simple white grave markers of these heroes. Although I felt a great sadness, the cemetery was also a peaceful place. Many of the local French residents sponsor a grave and come to pay their respects. There are over 218,000 individuals buried or memorialized at American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) cemeteries. If you go to their website there is a link to search for ABMC burials. http://www.abmc.gov/about-us
After visiting the Brittany American Cemetery, I found out that my late aunt’s first husband, Paul Mitak, was also buried there. Here’s a photo of his cousin Paul paying his respects at the grave. As you can see, the residents of France remember the old meaning of Memorial Day – Decoration Day.
This weekend is a reminder to me to honor those brave men and women that died while serving our country, and also to pray for peace. If you see a veteran holding a donation can while handing out poppies, please remember to make a donation and take a poppy. I was glad to pin a poppy to my purse at my local hardware store today. My thoughts and prayers are with all those that have lost a loved one to war.
Copyright 2015 by Maryann Barnes and Genealogy Sisters.