Friday, June 5, 2009

Luxembourg Heavy On History

There are a whole lot of castles here but I gravitate to more recent history.

GPS in Europe has changed much of the experience. I can't believe this. The back roads are what we know as single lane asphalt roads (and we really don't have them expept as driveways) and yet they are mapped and in the GPS. I have successfully reached destinations both ways...but I used GPS to get to the WWII Musee National D'Historie Militaire in Diekirch, Luxembourg.

These things move me. Castles don't.

The museum covered what is known in Europe as the Battle of the Ardennes. We know it is as the Battle of the Bulge.

December, 1944 was the liberation of Lux. and Belgium. It was Hitler's last gamble, really. And, it cost us dearly. It was -23 C during the crossing of the River Saur and the mine fields that lay ahead.

General George Patton is buried in Luxembourg in one of the 11 US National Cemetaries on foriegn soil. I didn't know that. Nor did I know that there are dozens of monuments across the Ardennes to memorialize the United States war losses.

The Saur River was our principle obstacle and assault boats (that's what they called them) came under a hail of machine gun fire. There were more than 700 lives lost just in the crossing.

Civilians ripped up bed sheets to make winter camo for our boys.

And, there was a special display in honor of an F-16A pilot based here at Spangdahlam AFB, Germany (right across the border) who was killed during night exercises in 2002. The sons and daughters of the liberated still honor us.

This memorial museum was stocked with the firearms of both armies. Remington, Colt, Smith and Wesson, Browning are still names we know. There was the Jeep. There was the Harley Davidson motorcycle. Hershey's was part of the ration.

I will see castles. But, this is where the heart is. Thank you, to those who serve.


strawberryblonde said...

Cool. Now if you wanted to lead me around Europe that would please me greatly. Hot places with SNAKES of any kind do not interest me and even freak me out a little. You are one brave Senorita.

I am grateful to the service men and women and even the civilians who have made my life today comfortable.

Sometimes I pause and reflect how difficult it would be to have to evacuate with next to nothing to sustain me.

infinite freedom said...

I too thank those who have served dearly. So many have sacrificed themselves in order for others, such as you and I Senator, to enjoy freedom.

And I pray that someday, we will again make it so that they did not do it in vain.

It's hard for me not to tarnish their memory when our poor America is in such a sad state of tyranny. Where government raises the children by habit only.

So much to fight for, on such a battlefield as we have today Senator.

Nothing will ever change until we change it ourselves.

The moment we stop fighting is the very moment that we have lost.