A group of older men carrying flags gathered on the Champs Elysees. I noticed the tops of the flags: The old blue, white and red ribbons with golden tassels. I collect those, and of course my heart jumped thinking of the brocante.
The flags had owners, and those owners were older men and women who had a sense of honor holding their flags.
I felt a ting of sadness thinking that I have ribbons that once belong to someone who might have felt the same honor.
The French flag waved large under the Arc de Triomphe.
What was it like on this street over fifty years ago?
I felt tears sting my eyes. I heard my Father's memories echo in my ears, I heard Annie's stories unfold around me, shared memories came running up the Champs Elysees marching, holding flags, waving.... Intense emotion suddenly was mine, and it was as sweet as any perfume.
A marching band played dressed in white. Songs that were not like the American ones I have known...
...their songs, sharing the same victory we all know.
Courage to be strong when called upon.
To walk daringly in the face of death, while believing strongly in life.
Pride standing in the brave heart.
Ribbons, and flags that never fade.
Stories shared that lead us forward.
Faith, family, friends... ageless triumph.
Honor in actions lived.
Ici est tombe....
the 25 of August,
Died for France.
These memorial plaques, of men and women who died for France, are everywhere in France. This one is in Paris. The city, like every city, town and village in France, puts a bouquet of flowers on these memorial.
So does he.
Bravery with a red beret.
I asked the veterans if I could take their photos.
To stand in what I believe, to be strong in the face of darkness.
I will lean on the courage that they walked before me.