Natalie writing today. This morning Pete and I went to “Le Mardasson,” the beautiful World War II memorial in Bastogne. I of course had been there in 1987, but in 2014 they had built a new museum. The outdoor memorial really is as beautiful as I remember. The new museum was very nicely done, with many interesting artifacts, interesting audio, informative displays, and readings. But our favorite parts were probably the three rooms where elaborate scenes had been created with films and narration about three parts of the Battle of the Bulge, in and around Bastogne near the later part of the war in Europe. The whole memorial/museum experience was sobering and very moving. It was good to go and reflect. 

But the afternoon and early evening today were the most memorable for me, and we accomplished one if the major goals and reasons for this trip: We were able to visit Josiane and Maurice, the dear couple with whom I lived 30 years ago when I worked at the grocery store here. It was so very good to see them! And I was able to see most of their family as they stopped by throughout our visit. It was truly a delight. They were so good to me and welcomed me into their family and lives back in the summer of 1987. We talked and laughed and took pictures. I tried to translate for Pete occasionally, as he really doesn’t speak French, but he had to be (and was) very patient, and that meant so much to me. Thank you, Pete! Merci encore, Josiane et Maurice ! Je vous aime. 

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