Monday, June 9, 2014

Commemorating the 70th Anniversary of D-day in Holly, MI

This weekend I went back to Michigan. My mom and I had actually planned this trip back in January as a trip to visit my grandfather on D-day and see the Red Sox play the Tigers.  Unfortunately he died prior to this trip but we still wanted to go to visit Lee and commemorate the 70th anniversary of D-day.

Lee and my mom picked me up at the airport on Friday morning (my mom went out a couple of days before me) and we headed to Holly, MI.  My grandfather is buried at the National Cemetery in Holly and we needed to go to the florist first so we decide to explore this adorable, historic town.
 


This town is so quaint and really looks like something out of a movie.  There was hardly anyone there and the shop owners were the friendliest!  We had such a nice time going out to lunch and walking around.










After exploring Holly's downtown we made our way to Great Lakes National Cemetery which is just a few miles away.  You can read about my grandfather's burial with full military honors here.  The weather was literally 30 degrees warmer on this day thank it was for the burial and we were grateful for the beautiful day!
  


We were even MORE grateful for this.  To our shock and surprise my grandfather's grave stone was there!  We had hoped it would be but did not expect it since we had told it would likely take until some time in July.  It was the perfect day for it to be there in honor of D-day and just another reminder that God's timing is always perfect!

Since the stone is marble it will weather and over time the letters will become darker (you will notice this in some photos below from other parts of the cemetery).  My grandfather is in section 17 which is a newer section.  There are only a few rows of graves at this time.  It is also why you don't see a lot of permanent grass yet.  I know it will look even more beautiful many years from now when all the grass fills in.







It really is a beautiful place and I'm so happy we got to visit again and see the grave stone in place. 

We then headed to the IMAX Theatre at the Henry Ford Museum to see the documentary D-Day which was narrated by Tom Brokaw.  It was very interested and a great history lesson.  The museum is also very interesting and I highly recommend it if you ever find yourself in the area (I have been during a previous trip to MI).

Our marathon day continued as we made our way to dinner at Compari's which was one of my grandfather's favorite restaurants (and the same place we went after the funeral).

Wayne and Julie joined us for dinner and we had such a nice time talking for hours.  Wayne is a social worker (recently retired) who ran the POW group at the VA Hospital.  My grandfather went to the group for the last several years and they became great friends with Wayne and Julie.  Wayne told me several times that my grandfather had a big impact on his life and does not hesitate to call him a hero.  It was so nice to hear some stories about my grandfather and his role in the group.  I'm thankful to Wayne that he helped my grandfather process his time as a POW - something that many of these men had never talked about before! 

After getting up at 5am I could hardly keep my eyes open any longer.  We got home after 11pm and I crashed!  It was a long but wonderful day! 

A little more about my weekend in MI to come. . .


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3 comments:

  1. what a special visit. i love all the American pride.

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  2. That town is adorable! I'm so glad you got to see your grandfather's headstone too! It all lined up perfectly for you. That documentary is playing here and I need to find time to go see it this summer.

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  3. Aw so great that you still went on the trip anyway. When I went to visit my grandpa's grave at a vet cemetery it was sad to see the newly dug up area because that means they just buried someone :( May your grandpa RIP and all those who died for our country.

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