Monday, February 11, 2013

Luxembourg/Bastogne - Here We Come! May 12th, 2012

We squeezed a lot into this Saturday.  I'm going to try to just let the pictures "paint a thousand words" and not do a lot of commentary - just a little. :)  Enjoy all the pictures!!

Sayer, it's time to get up to go.  Um...are you falling off your bed?!

There you are!

Our first stop of the day was the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial.

We brushed up on a few things in the visitor center before heading out to the grounds.

"A photograph says more than a thousand words.  Always somebody's child, brother, father..."

What a touching picture.

The following tells the story leading up to and during Paton's 3rd Army's push across Europe, through the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardennes, and on into Germany.

In the list of those who sleep in unknown graves, we saw a Walter H. Cochran from Pennsylvania (where daddy's family was from).  We wonder if he was a relative of ours.

In front of General Paton's grave.

Looking across the graves to the memorial (which was under scaffolding).

What a great quote.

This was an interesting and extremely long tunnel that we went through on our way to our next destination.  Some of us thought it was fun and others did not!

A statue of General Paton.

The Mardasson Memorial near Bastogne.
This memorial honours the memory of the 76,890 American soldiers who were wounded or killed during the Battle of the Bulge.  The Latin inscription on the memorial stone reads "The Belgian people remember their American liberators – 4th July 1946."

It's a neat memorial in the shape of a five pointed start.  It has the names of the states listed all around it, as well as the names of the different army divisions, etc. that fought in the battle.

It also tells the story of the battle on the inside of the pillars all around.

Looking out over the land from the top.

The 1st Cochran Division. :)

On our way to Bastogne.

We went to a museum there.

A neat picture of a picture from the museum.

More "pictures of pictures".

The 101st and 82nd Airborne patches.

Representation of the US operations room.

Representation of the German operations room.

This was a very touching room with interesting effects.  There are only a handful of tombstones (if you pressed a button on them, they would each tell a different person's story), but the mirrors all around the wall made it look like they went on forever.

Walking the streets of Bastogne.

Bike to Bastogne anyone?

In front of the Band of Brothers memorial near the Ardennes.

Walking through the Ardennes.

In foxholes!! 

This is near where Paton's 3rd army first broke through the German lines.  We passed by here on the way to our next destination.

Out the window.

Yum!! :)  

I wonder what she saw out the window?  It was fun to capture her face though.

Our next stop was the memorial of the Malmedy Massacre. 

"To the memory of the soldiers of the united states army who while prisoners of war were massacred by nazi troops on this spot on 17 December 1944."

U.S.A. - Belgium
To the prisoners of war of overseas who liberated the east - districts and were the victims of nazies cruelty."

Someone obviously keeps up the photos and flowers.

"These rose-trees were offered by the rose growers of Msr (Texas) in honour [honor] of the american soldiers who fell here."
The above is not a typo - this is exactly how it was said on the stone.

The rose bushes. 
(obviously not in bloom right now).

Right across the street is the field where the massacre took place.

Our next stop was the Siegfried Line.

It was funny because (only having GPS coordinates that we weren't sure  the accuracy of), daddy said "Okay, everyone keep a look out for dragons teeth".  We had no trouble seeing them when we came upon them!!  We had no idea there were so many of them still and that they were so big!!

If you can tell by the picture, they wrap all the way around.

On the Siegfried Line - we also sang the WWII song "We're Gonna Hang Out The Washing On The Siegfried Line", but I'll spare you the listening to it. :)

We were heading off for Spangdahlem AFB (where we were going to spend the night) and we found more dragons teeth in the woods along the road!

We also saw what appeared to be the remains of an old bunker.

There was a great looking thunderstorm off in the distance.

I guess that means we're entering Germany again?!

Italian for dinner!

Ready to eat and be out of the car!

A refreshed crew after dinner.

A pretty church across the street.

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