Daytrip to Dieppe

While in Dieppe today we followed the well posted signs to The Canadian Cemetery. It’s so difficult to tie in the significance past wars, and particularly the two world wars, to our family, especially since it was over even before my mother was born. The cemetery was quite lovely, and adjacent to some sleepy houses on the edge of town on one side, and rolling pastures on the other three sides. While we reverently walked up and down all of the rows reading the headstones, I was especially pleased with two things. First was how well maintained the area was. All the grass recently cut and all of the headstones were rooted to long rows of weed free dirt with all sorts of flowers and perennials planted in it. Secondly were the other visitors. During our two plus hours there, about six other “groups” or families came by for a total of about 14 other people. Granted it was a Sunday afternoon, but it was still pleasing to see so many local French people come out and walk around for whatever their reasons were. We also found a full register and guest book which made for interesting reading. There were many visitors from Alberta in the past month which was pretty cool. After leaving we drove to the cliff tops for an ocean view. There the old German gun bunkers are bricked up, but it was a stark contrast to the stunning view of the Atlantic Ocean. Their thick, gray concrete impassiveness helped really sink home to Alex & Luke (indeed, all of us realistically) how formidable a task the soldiers had in taking back Europe.

We are heading in two days to Vimy where my Great Uncle is buried in a WWI cemetery. My Uncle Steve had done a good bit of research digging up his information and readily sent it to us. So we look forward to making that somewhat distant yet vastly important family connection there. At this cemetery today on a plaque was the story of the Dieppe attack, and the final chapter of the lives of over 900 men buried there. We grabbed the laptop and retyped that story to post here. Every November 11 we think or say to ourselves “LEST WE FORGET” and yet I know I do. Posting this brief story on our blog is our meager contribution for our own remembering, and hopefully that of our friends and family reading as well…

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