Les Fleurs de la Mémoire

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- Conseil Général de la Manche
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  • "A Tribute"

    Worse 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 freedom.

    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 James.

    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, all meditate.

    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 You. Always!"

    Claude Lavieille       
    Président de l'association 
    Les Fleurs de la Mémoire

    Nota : This text was written for the Memorial Day 2002 

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