They said this was the last major ceremony to honor the veterans of D-Day because the youngest of them are 94 and the commemorations occur 5 years apart.
Our neighborhood had just lost a beloved vet at 95 who had given us so much insight into the war and his generation, so my history-buff buddy Phil and I bought tickets to Normandy. It was the trip of a lifetime.
The first thing I’ll never forget is how the crowds treated these very old men as rock stars. This vet stood for hours at the American Cemetery greeting the crowds and being besieged by the press:
The store windows were painted:
There were banners on the street poles:
There were framed photos in cathedrals:
There was stained glass with paratroopers next to Mother Mary:
And there were military escorts. Phil and I have stories of talking to vets, that made both of us cry from sadness, gratitude and joy.