joy magnetism: Centre of destruction

@Joymagnetism, now on Instagram!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Centre of destruction

Magnet #470 - St. Paul's in the Blitz

This week, we've been celebrating June 6th, the 65th anniversary of D-Day, when the allied troops stormed Normandy (fantastic flash preso by the ABMC), the beginning of the end of World War II.

And, though this particular image of St. Paul's in the London Blitz was taken on 29 December 1940, a good five years before the end of the war, it's certainly emblematic of why Normandy had to happen. Though, if you're so inclined, LIFE has a fabulous collection of D-Day and Operation Overlord images.

My parents and I went to Normandy on our Paris trip several years ago, and it was just one of those places that affects you the second you arrive. It was dank and rainy for our trip - very fitting, given all the madness D-Day.

There's the visitors museum, the stunning Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial maintained by the American Battle Monuments Commission, plus being able to see the beach heads, and climb through the same bunkers that our guys had to storm. Simply amazing.

My parents were thrilled to be there...well, actually it was more my dad, who has an affinity for the World War II generation (tomorrow, you'll see how much). He truly awestruck that he was in the exact place where all this history - and such pivotal and dramatic history, at that - took place.

But, if I may take a moment for an aside to save this from being too somber a post on a weekend... How in the heck do I *not* have a Normandy magnet? How? I had thought that it was before I started collecting magnets, it would seem, but it was the same trip as the Rodin museum, the Giverny trip, Versailles, etc. Jeepers. Why don't I have a magnet?

I may have to make one out of something. Stay tuned. I mean, the only explanation I have, is that I just didn't pick one up in any of the gift shops (what??!)

Of course, the three things I remember the most about this day trip outside of the Normandy stuff were:
  1. meeting an American family on the train ride over - from Boone. North Carolina. Who knew people that we knew from Boone.
  2. having croque-monsieurs (yet again) with mom in the small and cozy train station, and
  3. realizing belatedly, while I was in the train station waiting for our train, that we were in the same town as the infamous Bayeux Tapestries. The Bayeux Tapestries, people. The superfamous cloth that outlines the events before and during the 1066 Norman invasion of England. Of course, I remember them for the opening in Kevin Costner's Robin Hood, which looks a little like this supercool animated version of the tapestry, but whatever. The Bayeux Tapestries! Missed. Gah. Again! In a historic place, and missing the most historic part about it! I had Mom almost convinced to let me try and run out to see it...but prudency (is that even a word?) prevailed.

*From BBC correspondent Robin Duff’s war reports of the cathedral surviving the Blitz. “All around the flames were leaping up into the sky. There the cathedral stood, magnificently firm, untouched in the centre of all this destruction.”
Pin It!

No comments: