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Un voyage en Normandie…

July 22, 2011

This week, I thought I’d write a little about a recent trip I took.  Last week I was lucky enough to faire le pont and visit a friend who lives in Normandy.  As I mentioned in my last post, I was curious to see Bastille Day celebrations, and in addition to seeing my friend, I was excited to see Normandy, which I believe is a region of France that holds a particular significance for many Americans.

While a fallen tree prevented my timely arrival in Caen and I missed a parade, I did discover that while France and the United States may celebrate their national holidays rather differently, French and American fireworks are identical! I felt quite at home watching them on the beach that night, except for the French chatter all around me. 

Later that weekend I visited the American cemetery, which was a very moving experience.  I’d seen images of it before, but nothing had prepared me for the sight of the  white crosses neatly dotting the lawn.  It was actually rather odd to enter the site, as the signs, architecture, and even the font of the inscriptions on the memorials were all in the American style, and I truly felt like I was entering a memorial in Washington, D.C.  However, as our tour guide confirmed, the cemetery is definitely located on French territory.  For me, the visit was both sad and fascinating, in the sense that it is both a testament to extraordinary sacrifice and to historical ties between France and the United States.  As some of you may know, France is the United States’ oldest ally, and the U.S. Embassy in Paris was the first American diplomatic mission.  As a history lover, I always enjoy contemplating the long road we’ve traveled together, and as an intern here at the Consulate in Strasbourg, it’s also fun to imagine what the future holds…

Bon week-end!

Molly Rapaport

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