“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A memory for Memorial Day

Across the dip, I climbed up to the church, a modestly imposing structure made of limestone. The musty fragrance of the flowers that decorated the pews from the previous Sunday’s service still permeated the air. The church was deserted, but I sensed the presence of people, a small congregation. The pews smelled of fresh wax. The candlesticks smelled of metal polish. Everywhere were plaques in memory of various villagers long gone. Tucked away in a small enclave, I found a brass eagle with an inscription beneath it. This plaque had been placed there by the village, in memory of the American airmen stationed nearby who were killed in combat during the Second World War. The eagle gleamed a little in the scant deflected light. The plaque had been recently polished.


smitten by britain said...

Isn't that a lovely thing to do? I seem to remember seeing dedications like this in other places when I used to be one of those "airman stationed nearby", but my memories of them are not near as vivid as yours.

A Brit in Tennessee said...

What a lovely tribute to a brave hero, far from his homeland yet never forgotten, a fitting and deserved gesture.
Lovely post...

Mike said...

I fancy many a church in Norfolk and Licolnshire will have something similar tucked away.

A small tribute to our American cousins, many of whom never made it back to the States.