Visited the Champigny-St. Andre German Cemetery in La Cambre, France. Almost twenty thousand German soldiers are buried here. The cemetery itself is very dark and relatively simple. It is littered with five cross groupings throughout amid the simple grave markers. The majority of the markers that are in the ground denote two or more German soldiers. The mound in the middle is the focal point of the cemetery and seems to keep vigil over everything. The large dark cross and two figures on both sides seem to be holding a silent vigil over the graves. All markings, sayings, and plaques are in German with no French or American translations. This adds to the aura of mystery that surrounds this place. The simple fact that the French government granted Germany the land and permission to bury their dead here is both puzzling and amazing. The ability of the French people to forgive the Germans is hard to believe.
The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Bayeux, France was a wonderful surprise. Halfway through walking down the streets of the shopping district, the towers of the church can be seen. The origins of the church date back to 627. The massive vaulted ceilings, coupled with the statues, artwork, and beautiful stained glass windows make this stop well worth an individual’s time.
The final destination of the day was to The Tapestry at Bayeux, France. The display of a 70 meter tapestry that tells the tale of the conquest of England in 1066 by William, Duke of Normandy is amazing and a must-see. The viewer is given a telephone device with a recording that guides one through the tapestry scene by scene with an in-depth explanation of each scene. From start to finish, the tour takes about 30 minutes and ends with a stroll through the gift shop. The recording mixed with embroidery immerse the viewer in another world. The fact that the tapestry is more than 900 years old and so well preserved serves to enhance the experience even further.
Applications are currently being accepted for World War II in the Mediterranean. Click here for more information and an application. The application deadline is midnight on Friday, September 4, 2015.