Monday, May 28, 2012

Flanders Field American Cemetery, Belgium

 (Photos by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

On a chilly, rainy day in April, I walked along the rows of stark white marble crosses at the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Belgium. The cemetery is one of 24 kept by the American Battle Monuments Commission.

The 368 men buried there were killed between October 30 and November 11, 1918. Just as the Armistice was signed.

They were only a fraction of the 9 million lost.

Now, almost a century later, we're celebrating Memorial Day, honoring those who have given their lives in military service and I've been thinking about a wreath of paper poppies--the symbol of Flanders Fields--that had been left in the chapel at the Flanders Field cemetery.

The card on the wreath said simply, "From an American who remembers." As I wrote on my Spokesman-Review Home Planet blog, the words touched me. That's something each of us should say more often than once a year.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Beautiful Bern: Switzerland in Spring

(Photo by Cheryl-Anne Millsap)

This time last year I was in Switzerland. One of the places I visited was the beautiful city of Bern. It was as if a fairytale city I'd imagined as a child had come to life. The narrow winding streets led from one lovely view to another. The Aare River curled through the city and green hills surround the beautiful valley.

As it happened, I was there on the day of the Grand Prix, the annual footrace that brings thousands of men, women and children to dash through the city.

Here in Spokane, we have something similar. Bloomsday fills the streets with people of all ages running and walking the 7 kilometer race. Just as so often happens in Spokane, the Bern Grand Prix was held on a day that turned rainy and cool. But the overcast skies simply highlighted the green lushness of the landscape.

In this month's Spokane Cd'A Woman magazine, I wrote about Bern and the similarity--at least the athletic similarity-- to Spokane. You can find that story here.