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Here by Glimpses Known - Memorials

In every French town or village I've been in there is a monument aux morts, a war memorial. Often they cite the villagers who went off to defend their country and fell in battle, but just recently, I noticed two that are far more "personal" in that they commemorate a tragedy that happened where the monument is erected.

This first one is alongside a road I've taken many times over the years, but tucked, as it is, behind a hedge, I never noticed it until I took a wrong turn on my way to the butcher and had to back up.  
"Here fell Maurice Renne, victim of Nazi barbary, August 20, 1944."

This one I've seen several times--I drive past it at least once every week--but never really looked at, not until after reading the one above.

"Here, on August 26, 1944, the Germans shot down [list of names -- all members of the French Forces of the Interior
 ...Hommage to the F.F.I who died for the Liberation"

I was born to a different era, a different country, but it still moves me to see these cold, angular stones erected in place of men whose days of laughing and loving were cut short because of war.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 31st, 2011 12:35 pm (UTC)

And it is good that they are there, so that we won't forget.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:32 am (UTC)
It is too bad that so many people have selective memories to go along with selective sight, choosing to ignore what is right in front of them. :(
Jul. 31st, 2011 01:46 pm (UTC)
I see this impulse in temporary roadside shrines to accident victims. People put up wooden crosses and leave flowers or other items. --It's not the same scale but a similar feeling, I think...
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:31 am (UTC)

I always pray for the families and grieving loved ones and friends of the accident victim when I pass those. There is more immediacy to them than the memorials of long ago wars.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 01:13 am (UTC)
One almost feels guilty about how horror-free most of our lives have been, given what past generations went through.
Aug. 3rd, 2011 08:27 am (UTC)
I know exactly what you mean. And I feel guilty that I have become inured to the monuments, walking or driving past them without truly seeing them. :(

( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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