Yet to visit the picturesque villages and fertile landscapes today seems to contradict the region’s frequently turbulent past where 360 miles of dramatic coastline sweep along the shores of the English Channel. Here gentle pastures of grazing cows blend with rolling terrain, pristine forests, stone houses and half-timbered cottages. It is also a place of inspirational light that has been a source of fascination for poets and artists alike.
Despite its placid charms,
William’s triumph at
With the creation of the Domesday Book (basically a census that meticulously documented the property holdings of English landowners), William systematically dispossessed his previously wealthy English subjects and conferred their property to his French counterparts.
William was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey on Christmas day in 1066. Ultimately arranged marriages, treaties and alliances between England and France dominated both countries for centuries to come.
For the next ten centuries
Now, some 70 years after that massive attack which ultimately liberated Europe,
People now living for whom the story of D-Day is found only in books and black and white newsreels should know that the past seven decades in
Such dedication became brilliantly clear in 2001 following the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States.
On September 14, 2001, three days after the
Shortly before noon a ceremony began without fanfare. A small procession of people solemnly marched forward, forming a line in front of the 22-foot bronze statue symbolizing The Spirit of American Youth Rising from the Waves. Moments later the chimes of the carillon rang out with the American National Anthem followed by three minutes of silence, a rifle salute and the haunting music of Taps. And then it was over.
But it was the participants at the ceremony who made it meaningful, for they were dignitaries from every village and town along the entire coast of
After wandering almost aimlessly around the grounds, I strolled past the statue on my way out. As I passed, I noticed something that had not been there before the ceremony. At the base of the sculpture was a single basket of flowers which had been placed by an anonymous donor. Tucked behind one of the flowers, to hold it in place, was a picture; a photograph of the twin towers of the
But there was something even more telling about that tiny, unidentified tribute, for I knew it had been placed there by someone who had survived the Battle of Normandy in 1944. The answer was written in four simple words along the sash that draped across the basket; “We have not forgotten.”
And therein lies the message of
It happened on an autumn day in September, 2001 in a place that has witnessed more than its own share of turmoil and grief. A place the world knows as
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About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world.
His goal is to visit 100 countries or more during his lifetime.
Read more of Travels with Peabod and Bob Taylor at The
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