Pierrefonds…and everything else I have done in the last week.

Hello all,

The last time I updated was right before we went to Normandy and
Pierrefonds and Compiegne..
Saturday morning, Sibel (one of the students who came to Oklahoma), drove
Felicity, Travis and I to see the castles of Compiegne, and Pierrefonds. About
an hourish from Amiens. They were both beautiful. My favorite was Pierrefonds
because apparently part of Harry Potter was shot there. It also looked like a
castle out of a fairy tale. It was incredible. Compiegne was beautiful, the
gardens reminded me of the gardens of Versailles. It amazes me that these places
exist because they are so different from anything in the United States. It is
crazy to me that people just live in towns with these castles, and can look out
their window and see them. I am envious.
On Sunday, Amandine (one of the students who came to Oklahoma) took us to
Normandy. About a 3 hour drive from Amiens. It was such an experience..I am glad
that I got the chance to visit the location but, at the same time I wish a place
like that didn’t exist. I’m not sure if that makes sense.. The beaches are
beautiful and the view is spectacular but, there is this gloom hanging over
everything. You can just feel it. The death and the pain are clearly still in
the atmosphere. It is very hard to explain how it feels to be in a place like
that. It is something that I think everyone should experience, because it really
makes you think about war and fighting in a different way. We went from beach to
beach seeing all the different locations, such as Omaha beach. Next we went to
the American cemetery and that is when everything just felt extremely real. You
walk down the path and slowly the graves start to appear..rows and rows of white
crosses that go on for what looks like forever. As you get closer the immensity
of the cemetery really takes over. I couldn’t help but get choked up, I was
fighting back tears. All of these men and women…some only 18 years old, it is
heartbreaking. I walked through the rows and found an Oklahoman, but as I was
walking I saw a grave from almost every state. There are 9,387 graves..and
around 300 of them are unknowns, 4 are women. When you walk away from the
cemetary you walk towards the Garden of the Missing..which is exactly what it
sounds like. The garden that commemorates those who were never found..there are
1,557 names. And remember….these were JUST american soldiers.
Normandy was an incredible experience for me, although the weather was
awful. Very cold and rainy, though that is how the weather was in 1944.


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