DY: In Just a Few Words (#98)
We will never forget this amazing country.
Karen is more adventurous than I am.
There - I said it. A lot of the places we have been are the result of her suggestions (and prodding). I did once suggest stopping at the Grand Canyon on a train trip back east after attending a business conference. Another time, I pushed to take a drive to Everglades City in Florida. But, if you’re talking about thinking on a global scale, Karen wins the prize.
Thus it was that, in 2014, we were having dinner one night when she presented this idea. I’ve been poking around the internet and I think we should go to Tunisia.
Woah!!! Where did that come from?, I asked. Karen responded, I’ve always been interested in how the Bedouins live and the trip I’m looking at includes a stop at one of their villages. Little did I know that the two weeks we later spent in Tunisia would be one of the greatest experiences of our lives.
I got to thinking about Tunisia again just the other day. But, I wasn’t remembering the Bedouin village, the camel rides, the Sahara Desert or the amazing Roman ruins at Carthage. Rather it was a story about a day trip to a cemetery.
Many readers have been to the American Cemetery in Normandy on the coast of France that is without a doubt one of the most emotionally moving locations in the world. Nobody who has been to Normandy ever forgets the row after row of white crosses that commemorate the 9,387 Americans who lost their lives there.
But I will hazard a guess that few of you have been to the 27-acre North Africa American Cemetery in Tunisia.
The site in Tunisia is smaller, but every bit as powerful. And, if you are there, you would think you are at Normandy. Again, the rows of white crosses in a perfectly kept cemetery where 2,841 Americans are buried.
Normandy, along the ocean in France, and the equally well-kept site in Tunisia are among multiple memorials around the world under the auspices of the American Battle Monuments Commission. The Tunisian site commemorates the battles that raged across North Africa from Morocco and Algeria to Tunisia in 1943 to free that strategically important territory from German control. The Americans buried here lost their lives in those battles.
Normandy gets the headlines and the visitors, but every memorial anywhere to Americans is worth visiting and absolutely worth remembering.
Usually, this blog tries to be on the lighthearted side to put a smile on your face or to just make your day a bit better. But, it’s important from time-to-time to stand back and remind ourselves of the courage and sacrifice of our fellow citizens to defend democracy.
DY: In Just a Few Words is a blog that comes out when something needs to be said or every Tuesday - whichever comes first. Davis Young is a communications professional who adds 50+ years of experience and perspective to issues of the day. His emphasis in DY: In Just a Few Words will be humor (a touch of sarcasm here, a pinch of facetiousness there...). Once in a while, he will touch on something a bit more serious - but hopefully not too deep or depressing.
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