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Remembrances. - Blather. Rants. Repeat.
A Møøse once bit my sister ...

Today's post goes back 70 years- and then some.

It's the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the military maneuver which, quite probably, changed the course of events in the European Theater from Hitler to the Good Guys, and which gained much recognition today for the sacrifices of life and effort on the beaches of Normandy and beyond.  But the remembrance that sticks most with me today is one I didn't have until early this morning- about another place in France that, barely a week later, did not go as well for the Allies and their allies.

You can follow the story and photos here, but I will steal a summarizing portion of them:

Less well-known in the US is the fate of the French town of Oradour-sur-Glane. On June 10, 1944, the town was under the control of Vichy France.  That day, a German Panzer division massacred 642 men, women, and children – most of them shot and then burned alive in the town church – for no known reason. It’s suspected that the massacre was in retaliation for the killing of some German soldiers in the area (possibly in another town also named “Oradour”) by the French resistance.

The French government left the town as it stood on that day. It is a monument to the relentlessly brutal German occupation, and to the innocent victims of Naziism.

A Peugeot allegedly belonging to the town doctor stands where it was parked as the doctor arrived back to town from a house call just as the round-up of villagers began.

The blog piece goes on from there, in words and pictures, to describe this town frozen in this tortured moment in time.  I encourage you to follow the tale there, and to follow the precept placed on the grounds by the restored non-Vichy French government following the horror:


That was today's memory of things 70 years past. By odd coincidence, my travels took me even further back.

Work today was much-traveled and little-accomplished, much of it in unfamiliar territory to me known as the Southtowns. After a 9:30 appearance downtown, which resulted in a 30-day adjournment because nobody bothered to tell us they needed One More Thing before this morning, I headed officially west but really south along the lakeshore (on a beautiful day for a drive, I might add) to another client's....

who wasn't there.

Next, a stop at a Tim Horton's east of there to meet the client who was digging out things at the Bills' ballpark....

another (justifiable) no-show.

That left Client Four du jour, who absolutely positively had to meet with me today.... and who, I fully expected, wouldn't. So I held my confirming call until reaching the parking lot of the Losson Road Wegmans a couple miles south of his office, where I stopped in search of a flavor of decaf coffee that has become well-nigh unavailable in Eleanor's venue.

They had it. I grabbed two bags. But in front of the coffee display, I saw something on the ground: a frugal homegrown "coupon holder," made by someone clearly older than I, by stapling together a couple of 3x5 index cards on three sides.  The coupon stash included one for Polident, thus supporting my conclusion about "older than I." But it also contained a memento: a mass card, bearing the name of a (doubtless) parent or other relative of the shopper, who entered into eternal rest sometime in the 1930s- before the Second War to End All Wars even began.

I looked about for the owner. No luck. I repaired to adjacent aisles for pop and crackers and doubled back to see if someone was looking for the coupons. Not.  So in the end, I cashed out my order, then took the holder to the service desk and asked them to hold it for Mr. Walker's child, grandchild, great-niece, whatever. They seemed to understand how important it was.  As I do.


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