First of all, let me start with some apologies. I said this post would be up by last weekend, but in the end I didn't manage to put it online. This has nothing to do with my previous post (i.e. procrastination), but I just felt that my previous processing of the pictures you're about to see didn't manage to convey even a fraction of the emotional roller coaster I experienced the morning I shot them. This having been said, let's dive right in!
It was quite early when I arrived at the German Military Cemetery and the only other people present were an elder woman and her grandson.
The site is secluded, yet easily accessible from the main road, bordering on public hiking and biking ways.
Immediately upon entering through the main gates, I felt a deep sadness wash over me. It's pretty difficult to describe, but I guess it's just one of those things you have to experience for yourself.
The cemetery itself is rather bleak and reading all of the headstones engraved with the names, rank, birthdate and date of death of so many soldiers aged 17 to 20 knocked the wind right out of me.
Not all of the fallen were so lucky to be identified, many corpses remain nameless.
I spent about two hours just wandering around and being grateful not to live in those troubled times, this really was a very sobering experience.
Right next to the entry, there's a little room, which acts as a visitor centre. Unfortunately it fits right in: rather desolate, minimal, abandoned would be the first words coming to my mind.
By the time I left the German site, I was quite shaken and considered just driving home, hugging my wife and my son, and coming back another day for the American site.
Am I glad I didn't...
As aforementioned, you can easily reach the American site by car within three minutes, so I decided to at least have a look at the outside.
This location is also slightly hidden away in the woods between two main roads, but upon arriving at the parking I immediately realised I would go through with my original plan. The first thought that went through my head, seeing the main gates was: "WOW!".
This place couldn't be any more different from the previous one.
Glory, valour and a testament to the many heroic deeds accomplished by the American Forces during WW2, one can't help but be in awe and marvel at the proud display of the beautiful chapel located just behind the gates at a central position, overlooking the brave ones whom have ensured our freedom by making the ultimate sacrifice.
Another two hours just flew by, and the cemetery was starting to fill up rather fast with visitors, random tourists and family members alike, all of them flocking towards a specific point of interest at one moment or another: General George S. Patton, Jr.'s grave, which lies pretty much in the centre and overlooks the graves area.
After this final shot, it was time for me to return home to my loved ones, but if you're ever in Luxembourg, this is one experience I can wholeheartedly recommend.
Finally, here's a small, more complete, gallery with my shots from this memorable trip.