Friday, 22 October, I planned to meet my friend Frank, who teaches history and is a historian and author for the 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment (PIR.) The plan was to meet in Overasselt near Arnhem. I was almost over my cold, and the next day I was going to give my first World War II program in Europe. It was a rainy, foggy day when I set out to meet him at 9:00. The only problem was I, I didn’t double check my itinerary (which had changed so often) to see we were actually meeting at 10:00.
I arrived an hour early and after I realized what I had done, Frank suggested I go see the John Thompson Bridge at Grave. I took a drive and didn’t realize I had already driven over it on my way. I stopped at the monument which honors the Airborne. The energy there was so intense as if every Airborne soldier had shown up. My body was vibrating from all the energy. I stood at the monument and cleared a lot of energy before taking another drive to find a cup of hot tea before I met Frank.
Frank and I visited the Nijmegen Bridge and Airborne Monument at that location. He told me a lot of history about what happened in that area during the war. After lunch we went to Oosterbeek to visit the cemetery. I wanted to visit the grave of British soldier Ivor Rowbery, who I had become aware of about a week before I flew to Europe. Ivor wrote a beautiful letter to his mother prior to the Operation Market Garden mission, knowing he was likely to die.
The rain began falling heavily when we arrived at the cemetery. Thankfully we had cover near the front of the cemetery where the Memorial Book is kept. The energy at the cemetery was not as intense as it had been earlier in the day. It was beautiful and peaceful to watch the rain fall over the cemetery with tall, colorful trees lining the edges, and listen to the acorns fall.
When the rain subsided we walked through the cemetery. Frank knows the stories of most of the men buried there. He brought them back to life as we walked. We located Ivor Rowbery’s grave and took a few photos then walked through the cemetery gate and walked along the forest edge to the field where the men had been.
When we exited the field we walked along a magical fairy road, along the city cemetery, as light fog hung in the air. I’m quite sure the fairies hang out in this area and magic abounds. Frank had no idea the cemetery which was laid out across from Oosterbeek, extended that far beyond the main area. After we found a gate to get into the far end of the cemetery, we saw some interesting Russian grave stones. It was quite a walk in a beautiful area.
Our afternoon ended with hot tea and a gigantic piece of apple pie that was impossible to eat in one sitting! Delicious.
As I drove home the energy was crackling. I was soon to meet someone I knew a thousand years ago and give my first talk in Europe. The question was, how would life change in the morning?
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