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Haver... Havia.... Não era grande coisa... Mas haver havia...
Pictures: Robinson Kanes & GC
The death is someone's death and to have been someone's death is not taken by the dying person but by the survivor
Aristotle, in "De Anima
We left Bayeux and went back to near the memorable "Juno Beach", more precisely to Courseulles-sur-Mer. This is where the car rests and the bikes come off the roof. We go into "Tour de Normandie" mode and try to meet some of the places that for years remain in our memory due to the "D Day". From here on and before we aim at Mont Saint-Michel it will be on foot and on two wheels.
We began with a journey of about seven km to the Canadian Cemetery of Bény-sur-Mer, which is the repose of the first Canadian dead on landing - that of Bretteville-sur-Laize remained for those who died in later moments. Even at the roadside and one can already feel the weight of history, the weight of death. The first impression? So many dead and this is only the first... So many boys on the ground who died in the name of the liberation of Europe, in the name of a world that would never be the same... We feel cowardly for not having kept that desirable world that stupidly cost them their lives - and this is not even one of the biggest stone gardens. You breathe deeply, you hear the wind between the trees, you review the story, and you read the messages you find on each stone.
We realize that more than an hour has passed and there is still so much to feel, something without an obvious explanation... It's time to leave, return to "Juno Beach" and pay our respects to the memorial and also to the first house to be conquered on that fateful and deadly day.
I become redundant, but in fact, I always end up thinking, what for? Should we not, as we do with road traffic accidents, where many judges sentence the guilty to visit hospitals, particularly the victims of collisions, do this with those who seem to forget the past?
The beaches... you have to close your eyes, remember the history of the invasion and return to those times, otherwise, it will be more difficult, even if you feel the air coming from the Channel. We must continue, our destination on two wheels will be the German cemetery at "La Cambe" and before that, we must return to the War Cemetery at Bayeux.
On the way, a highlight and mandatory stop at the American Cemetery in "Omaha Beach", Colleville-sur-Mer. Until then, there are plenty of museums and memorials, the beaches and even at the entrance to some villages, do not forget those who have fallen for France and Europe. But we must stop in Colleville, the Americans know how to grace their soldiers and this cemetery is a real monument, a great tribute to the dead in battle who crossed the Atlantic and then the English Channel and fell on French soil.
The number of dead is overwhelming, the place is massive and the contrast between beauty and care of the place with those lying there is something remarkable. Someone tried to build a paradise so that those soldiers could rest there, right on the hills that lead to the beach where many have fallen. The stillness of this place, the way everything is taken care of (better than in many palaces), the silence... We look again at the sea that brought all these bodies to land, an Atlantic crossed, to then cross the waters of the spot and die in the name of us all. A sad life, not being able to face these young people and even the older ones, the tears... The thought of walking among the crosses of Christ and David is not enough, it leaves us powerless and unarmed. We think of today and even of tomorrow, we think of all the cemeteries like this one, which did not exist... We ask, what for?
We have to continue... It's time to move on, but after that day, we are no longer the same... After that day, already adults and without the magic that being a child causes us naivety, we will never look at that shore again after this return
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