Ole Paree and Normandy

I’ve been to France many times and this visit is extra special, as I’m spending the holiday weekend here with my favorite Valentine — my dad. It’s fun to see his french language skills in action, along with his genuine wonder at everything from our kind server to the impressive architecture. And it’s sobering to be here just three months after terrorist attacks killed 130 people — the deadliest in France since World War II.


After a day strolling the most glamorous city, we drive north to Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. It’s so humbling to be here, thinking of those who lived the ultimate superhero story of courage and ultimate sacrifice. The cemetery park and museum make a beautiful tribute to their memory. Just off the coast lays a graveyard of shipwrecks from Allied landings in 1944 — a neat place to scuba dive. Maybe next time.

Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach
Normandy American Cemetery at Omaha Beach

Next we stop in Évreux to see Dad’s childhood home near the air force base. I grew up with stories of dad’s walk to school during a snow storm, grandfather’s role evaluating aircraft incidents for Lockheed, and grandmother’s love for hosting dinner parties. That era is described as the happiest in their lives. Perhaps I inherited love for aviation and dinner parties from them!


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