There is an American cemetery in Draguignan, France, where the casualties of the southern invasion were interred. We visited the Rhone American Cemetery last spring.
There was a long-stemmed rose propped against a white marble headstone, one of more than 850 in the cemetery. I didn't have the courage to take a picture of it. It seemed too intrusive to photograph someone's grieving tribute to a soldier killed so long ago.
Nous serons insurmontables si nous demeurons unis dans la charite. We will be invincible if we live united in charity.
The American Battle Monuments Commission, the guardian of all the overseas cemeteries and memorials, has a Facebook page. It is filled with touching tributes, among them posts from people in France and elsewhere who have "adopted" the care of the graves of American servicemen from both World Wars. Some even wish to connect with their families.
So, on this Memorial Day, what will you be thinking of? Peace, surely. A rose, maybe. Tribute, certainly.
(And will someone tell me why I didn't think of it?)
Authors Ellen and Mary were at the Naperville Men's Glee Club performance at Wentz Concert Hall earlier this month, hawking this 6-inch square of fun fun fun.
From Scrabble in Fredenhagen Park (#99) to playing the GPS-driven Geocache game at the Settlement (#52) to practicing your "Ollies, Nollies and Kickflips (#31) at Naperville's two skate parks, there are many thoughtful and unexpected pursuits within its pages.
The book is available pretty much all over town. The authors' website is here.
A great gift for friends and for the city of Naperville.
There's a very nice man who occasionally walks his dog past our corner of the woods. We've spoken a few times to exclaim over each other's pet (his is definitely on crack cocaine; ours has 3 paws in the hereafter). Tonight, as Bandit wagged his tail and then lost track of what he was doing, I explained the old boy was 17 years old and nearer to God than thee.
"You mean this is the dog from your children's childhood?" he asked.
"Yes, and a living example of the power of costly veterinary care," I replied. "Imagine your dog in 14 years." (At that moment, she was joyously ricocheting off the earth and, occasionally, Bandit.)
As he gave Bandit a pat, he said imagining his children 14 years from now made him sad. His eldest was just finishing his first year of high school, the others were in junior high and grade school. Time seems to be speeding up, he said. And it made him sad to think about it.
I felt absolutely terrible for making him feel sad, particularly when I'm feeling rather invigorated myself. I'm enjoying this thing called freedom, which may be heretical and invalidate my Mom Card, but I am quite serene about it, thank you.
And while I have sometimes missed the carloads of kids, their stories of love lost and love attained, the swim meets and plays and assemblies and pomp and hoopla, I miss the careening back and forth not at all. And there is less laundry now, which is always a plus.
Kids, you know I love you. I am so glad you are launched and doing marvelously on your own. Which was the plan all along.
I am always amazed and delighted by what my favorite bloggers manage to come up with. Such variety! Such photography! Such naughty language!
However, Naperville Now is unsure as to how to proceed down the blogging trail. I need to mull my direction in life and the life of this blog. So while I roll up my sleeves and ponder, I'll get back to you with what I find out.
Meanwhile, if you have any suggestions, I'm listening.
xxx Naperville Now
p.s. Thank you to Cindy and Maria for their contributions to the library my friend Barb is creating for Loaves and Fishes. They were down to 7 measly books by the time Barb got there to refill the shelves. Close one.
p.p.s. I managed to figure out the DVR so I could watch Kate and William's wedding in daylight. The hats were absolutely the best part.