Sunday, April 28, 2013

Journal Entry: May 31, 2011

This entry was written in the journal I took on the European tour the brass band took in 2011. My parents are leaving this week for a European vacation, and I delved into my writings to see if I'd written about my experience at the American Cemetery. They're headed there in a few weeks.

It was written in two parts. The first on the ferry as we waiting for disembarkation, the second after our performance at the American Cemetery. The concert was one of the highlights of my career as a musician and one of the great memories of my life. This entry is a paltry reflection of that written on a moving coach, headed to Paris.

May 31, 2011
[Time not marked]--------

Riding the ferry from Portsmouth to Caen today. Boarded at 10:45pm, [arriving] this morning in about 15 minutes. This morning, I awoke to a 4:15am shower. Returning to the bunk in the darkness, listening to the thrum of the engine[,] the absence of other sounds. It harkens [sic] the mind back to the landing here.  Crossing the Channel under darkness, I had the luxery [sic] of a cramped shower and only 2 men to a 4 bunk room.

My grandfather didn't storm the beach in the first wave, but at some point he crossed over the water.  Landing and crossing over the previous week's battlefields, just to get to the place where some would die.

Today we have a concert at the American Cemetery with patriotic music. At 8:30am, I'm not sure how many are expected as an audience.  Whether one or one thousand, I feel it will be a moving experience.  So many memories -- but not my memories.

11:22am -----------

It was all that I thought it would be.  The clock chimes struck in tune with "Hymn to the Fallen." The sea creates the background noise, while the murmurs of conversation ebb and flow from the small groups gathered around the gravesites [sic].  A blue and cloudy sky, with a wind that blows cautiously -- chill in the shadows, but comfort in the sun.

And everywhere the crosses of the dead, known and unknown.  It can be overwhelming to be in a place of such peace, which was once the site of so much violence.

No comments:

Post a Comment