than death, is to be forgotten...So that this never happens to those
to whom we owe so much, the association "Les Fleurs de la Memoire".
( Flowers of remembrance ), came to life. It happened on December
15, 2000, in Saint Lo, a city which, after the June 6, 1944, bombing raids,
was called the Capital of Ruins.
Since that day, along with our members, we have paved the way along memory's
roads. These paths of memory lead to the American military cemeteries
where those, swept along by the Star Spangled banner, listening only to
their courage, came to offer their life, so that we could reclaim our
At the core of Les Fleurs de la Memoire, the 720 members, put
aside their differences, religious beliefs, and their origins, share the
same gratitude towards the GI's who repose at Colleville-sur-Mer or Saint
Together, on Memorial Day or individually on any other day of the year,
we come to meditate, in silence, or in prayer. Then, in an affectionate
gesture, as would a godparent for their godchild, allowing the heart to
speak, we place flowers at the base of the headstone.
It is not uncommon to see grandparents, at times moved to tears, accompanied
by their children and grand children moving along the rows on the way
to find "the" grave.
Once at the gravesite, their heads filled with images.... All listen,
Is it the sound of the breeze ?
Rather, isn't it the sound of the
souls, the living memory of the dead speaking to our subconscious ?
Then the terrible sounds of combat invade the mind...those unbearable
sounds of bombs which explode..the whining cry of diving planes...the
agonizing cries of the suffering. All the horrors of war assault our memories
Finding the spirit of those who died for that we may live in a better
world, kneeling in front of the headstone, placing these flowers, is this
not a profound appeal for peace?
That is, I believe, what each person feels when coming to execute their
pledge towards our association, "Les Fleurs de la Memoire".
A Humble pledge always accomplished with the infallible faith and immense
fraternity with those whom we honor. It is true we have so much to say
to you who sleep forever in our Normandy soil. Yes, so many things, which
however must be resumed in one word: "Merci." Yes, "Thank
Président de l'association
Les Fleurs de la Mémoire
Nota : This text was written for the Memorial Day