Normandy

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Normandy StarsLearning about invasionThe graves stretched down the hill and into the distance at the Normandy American Cemetery. Such a sad graveyard. Down below us was Omaha beach, where many of the buried American soldiers fell and died. The countless rows and columns of crosses were dotted here and there by Stars of David. On each of them showed the soldier’s name, when they died, and which state of the United States they came from. I shuddered at the ones that said “Known But Unto God” because the idea of being blown to bits or burnt to death gave me the creeps. No one deserves to go like that. All of those soldiers deserve Medals of Honor. However, being buried in the land they helped to liberate might be even better than a Medal of Honor. We all give thanks to our soldiers. If Nazi Germany had won the war, more horrible and more terrifying things would have happened. The only things that stopped Nazi Germany were the Allied veterans and fallen soldiers. We thank you with all our hearts.

Anne Frank

Anne Frank

Anne Frank Diary
The original diary at the Anne Frank Museum. Image found on internet.

Recently I finished reading The Diary of Anne Frank, which is about Anne’s time in hiding during World War II in Amsterdam. It taught me that in times of trouble, try to enjoy life to its fullest. Whether it’s painting or doing what she did and writing a diary, get your feelings out, and express yourself, in your own way. Don’t keep it down or, like Anne said, you’ll suffocate. The diary fascinated me, how she was in a bad situation, but never gave up hope. Times got hard, but she pulled through, and showed that effort pays off. Always.

Diagram of the building including the secret annex.
Diagram of the building including the secret annex.

We went to the Secret Annex, where she, her family, and the other four people in hiding with them lived for two whole years. Anne Frank lived there with her parents, Otto and Edith Frank, her sister, Margot, and the van Daans, Peter, Petronella, and Hermann. Eventually, Albert Dussel joined them. They were doing so well… until someone betrayed them. On August 4th, a month before the liberation started in the Netherlands, the eight people in hiding were uncovered and arrested, as well as their helpers Johannes Kleiman and Victor Kugler. Their other two helpers, Bep Voskuijl and Miep Gies-Santrouschitz were left all alone. The eight members of the Secret Annex were split between five different concentration camps. Anne was shipped to Bergen-Belsen, where she died from typhus. Only Otto survived. After he heard the news that his two daughters were both dead, he spent multiple years trying to get Anne’s diary published.

I’ve learned from Anne Frank’s story that no prejudice is a right one. After all, we’re all just people. Anne Frank’s story is like a thorn, piercing straight through my heart, and I would give my hand… to change it.

 

**Note photos were not allowed in the museum.  All images used in this post are taken from internet searches.**