Remembering the Fallen on Memorial Day

This year, for Memorial Day, we decided to head out to the Lorraine American Cemetery and Memorial in St. Avold, France. A total of 10, 487 brave military members call this their final resting home. It's the largest WWII cemetery in Europe. According to the brochure found in the visitor's office, "Free use as a burial ground was granted by the French Government without charge or taxation." There are several American cemeteries in Europe, and it's on my bucket list to visit them all. You can read more about American Battle Monuments by clicking HERE. We have visited the Luxeumbourg American Cemetery before, but this one has always been on my list. Since we went to Luxembourg last Veteran's day, and had been there twice, I saved St. Avold for our last Memorial Day in Europe. The Memorial Day ceremony was held on May 25, 2014 (the day before our visit) and all the memorial wreaths were still in place. I had to hold back some tears when I saw the War Orphans wreath honoring their … [Read more...]

Metz: French Adventure #1

On Saturday, we rented a sweet lil BMW Sport Wagon, loaded it up with the kids, Harley, the strollers and DVD player and drove to our first French destination: Metz, France. Kaiserslautern (where we live) is about 40 minutes from the French border. Another 20 minutes of driving and we arrived in Metz, France, a town rumored to run amok with Franco-German fusion and a fun little city center. However, when we arrived there, we were greeted with a town that seemed ALL French to me. I did not pick up any German vibes or influences. However, I'm sure the German vibe is very much so there, but I was so caught up by being able to read all the signs and understand what people say. French is the language I studied in High School and College and I have kept up with it over the years. I am going to get back into conversational French and hopefully be fluent by next year. Because, quite frankly, I am going to be spending a lot of time in France. I have been before, but this was Alex's … [Read more...]