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.