Sunday, April 30, 2006

Uncle Lynn and WWII

Germany, especially this time of year, just oozes history. While visiting the memorial to the Soviet soldiers who fought in the Battle of Berlin on Friday, I was surprised to find a number of flower arrangements in part of the park as well as 3 or 4 dozen single red roses laying on top of the bushes. The memorial will be a blog posting for another day because it is both amazing and creepy. My point, however, is that the Battle of Berlin took place between April 16 and May 8, 1945. The flowers were obviously there to commemorate the 61st anniversary of the battle. It is astonishing to think about the ease with which I visited the memorial, compared with what navigation around the city must have been like 61 years ago today.

While reading some old letters tonight, I was even more surprised to discover that in terms of WWII history, yesterday and today have significance for my family. Yesterday was the 61st anniversary of the liberation of the last POW camp that my Great Uncle Lynn was taken to after being shot down in France in 1944. The camp was in Moosburg, a small town northeast of Munich and was liberated by General Patton’s army on April 29th and 30th, 1945. Not much is left of the camp today, though the town has built a small memorial fountain in the center of the downtown area. Technically every day I have been in Germany represents the 61st anniversary of my great uncle being a POW, but somehow sitting in Germany on the anniversary of his liberation is different. To know that I can live in Germany today because of my uncle's sacrifices is very moving to me and means a great deal. Sadly, he passed away last year so I cannot thank him for his efforts. But as I enjoy my freedom in the coming days and weeks, I will remember my Uncle Lynn and wonder how he must have felt after being freed 61 years ago.


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