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View Diary: Touring Verdun (184 comments)

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  •  I took my Mom to NE France in 1998, (1+ / 0-)
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    Jay C

    part of a 10-day loop included Rouen, Bayeux (for the tapestry), part of Brittany (Vannes, Quimper, Pointe du Raz, Celtic stones), Blois, Reims (and the Taittinger caves), and back to Paris.

    The highlight of all that was seeing where her father fought and was wounded in the Meuse-Argonne push.

    Spent a couple of hours at Verdun -- atop and inside Douaumont, drive by the ossuary, marvel at the fields still lumpy from long-ago shell holes.

    After lunch, we then followed her father's unit, the 2nd Marine Division, north of Verdun --  visiting the Montfaucon church ruined by WWI artillery, the US monument and the nearby US cemetery (the largest in Europe -- for an hour or so on Armistice Day, we were the only ones there) and ending at Somme-Py which still has a Marine dugout in town and a US Monument on nearby Blanc Mont Ridge.

    Took a photo of Mom next to the 2nd Division part of the monument, walked some of the German trenches, and headed back to the B&B.

    On the way, a sign for Attila's Camp beckoned, so we checked out the remains of what was Attila the Hun's headquarters -- an old Gallo-Roman oppidum with earthen walls -- for the decisive (per Deasy) battle of Chalons, where a Roman/Visigothic army kept the Huns out of Roman Gaul in 451.

    Lots of battlefield ghosts on that trip.

    Back at the B&B, we told the proprietor what we'd done that day, and he related that the photo of a uniformed guy on the mantel was his grandfather -- an artillery officer at Verdun.

    Eyes misted all around as we shared our families' WWI stories.

    Thanks for the diary -- rec'd, tipped and now commented.  

    A public option for health insurance is a national priority.

    by devtob on Fri Dec 21, 2012 at 05:35:00 PM PST

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