The American Cemeteries all over Europe, which are the last resting place of our soldiers, have a mission to both care for the dead in a dignified and most respectful way and showing care and gratitude to the families who gave of our best to free the world of the tyranny of Hitler and the Nazis . This is the 74th anniversary of D-Day and there are few immediate families left. I was born two years after my brother’s death. The mission has changed slightly. My friend Tracey Haylock is collecting photographs of the fallen to put young faces to the simple grave markers. . . . . . permanent records of their “too short ” lives and their “sacrificial ” deaths.
Many thanks to Tracey and Susie, the knowledgeable and ever so kind docents of the cemetery and Superintendent Rich for his gracious welcome for several visits by my family. Rich came in to welcome Tullidge family members on Sundays and with Susie and Tracey on the 4th of July, a holiday in the UK.
One special memory was early morning before we left Cambridge when I went to George’s grave on the way out of the city. The mowers were at work so as to finish before visitors of the day arrived. One weather worn man stopped his mower and dismounted walking toward me. He pointed to George’s cross and flowers we had placed on the day of family celebration. He looked at me quizzically and I said, yes, my brother. He grabbed my hand and gave me a gentle but firm shake, turning and walking back to his mower.
These dear people of the UK have not forgotten our sacrifice for freedom, we must keep our heroes’ stories alive as well.