|From Behind My Eyes - The Adventures of Tim Stubbe||
The Morning found the skies blue with a slight nip in the air, which was a pleasant change from the day before when we rode 300 miles in the rain. We packed up our steeds and headed to the Blue Ridge Parkway just north of the Virginia/North Carolina state line. The morning flew by as we rode the ridge with the scenery of old homes, green pastures and the occasional vista point. We headed NorthEast on the parkway and stopped for a cup of coffee at Mabrey Mills. Here there is an old grist mill that looks like it came off a post card and it was a pure pleasure to get out my camera and take a few shots.
The weather though cool and breezy was perfect riding weather as we progress traversed 80 miles of the parkway enjoying the views from some of the vista's.
Our goal for the day was to ride to Appomattox Courthouse where Robert E Lee surrendered to U.S. Grant to end the Civil War. As we were headed towards Lynchburg Va we saw a sign that said "National D-DAY Memorial". We had never heard of this and curiosity getting the best of me, we made a slight detour at Bedford Va to see this site. To say we were impressed would be an understatement as this Memorial stretched over about 10 acres as a timeline (no not a facebook timeline). Starting at the North end was the planning with bronze busts of all the generals that participated in the invasion.
Looking back toward the planning area you could see a large sword pointing toward the beach area. I have to say that the people that designed this memorial did a very impressive job and there were some very touching moments for me as I walked the grounds.
The Beach Area had soldiers in various positions in the water and there were water jets that went of randomly representing bullets striking the water. A very moving point of the beach area where the bronze soldiers seemed to be alive pulling in one case pulling his comrade towards the beach.
Above the beach area was a bronze monument that showed soldiers climbing the cliffs of Normandy in various stages including one soldier falling. Again a very moving representation of the struggle and courage that our fathers, Brothers and Sons went through on that June 6th morning. (You can click on these pictures to enlarge them)
At the top end of the memorial was a large red granite marker that basically summed up the whole memorial. I don't thank I could express the sentiments any better than they were here.
Truly this was the "Greatest Generation"
It was a very moving 90 minutes walking though this testament to the definitive moment that D-DAY was. I'm so glad we decided to make that short detour to see this. If you ever get a chance to visit the "National D-DAY memorial" in Bedford Virginia I would highly recommend it.
We did get to Appomattox and walked around again a very stirring place and wonderfully restored to look like it did the day that Lee surrendered.
We ended up riding to Charlottesville Va where we spent the night.
Today we will head to Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's home then East toward Richmond Va.
Who know what detours we will take today.