There, in Person ... From Jody Feldman

War stories.
They come in all forms. Movies we see. Articles and books we read. Personal histories from friends or relatives or the very interesting stranger at the cafĂ©. And while the firsthand stories will stay with me the longest, what will also long remain are the memories of having visited this battle site in person. 

Omaha Beach

I had some sense of what I’d see this past June in Normandy. In the past I'd watched at least these two brilliantly different takes on the World War II invasion—The Longest Day and The Americanization of Emily. But when I stepped on the sand at Omaha Beach, I was taken by the vulnerability of our soldiers, many young kids, who had little clue how brutally they’d be attacked. Then to see, in person, the 100-foot cliffs the Army Rangers scaled at both Omaha Beach and Pont du Hoc... No words.

But I do have pictures. And I have the emotional memory of being there in person. 

WWII bombing craters at Pont du Hoc...still

Bunker, where the Germans lay in wait

While I considered leaving this post on that, I will briefly bring it back to writing and say this. Witnessing something in person works to add powerful shades to any story, whether it’s the whisper of the wind, the chatter of voices, or the roar of the ocean at such an historic site. 

The American Cemetery in Normandy

On that same trip, Jody Feldman also had the opportunity to learn more about World War II at the Churchill War Rooms in London. Then, shortly thereafter, less than 100 miles from her home in St. Louis, Missouri, America's National Churchill Museum. All, profound experiences.


  1. Totally agree on what being there in person adds. So many tiny details that you just can't make up...


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