Thanks for this posting Robin . It reminded me also of my first trip to Normandy in 2004 for 60th anniversary.
My first contact with a veteran was with Col. Steve Kellman 16th reg. 1st Div. at the Big Red One Memorial overlooking Omaha Beach.
I was as green as grass of knowledge of Normandy. Read a few books yes but to be actually there was a long time wish of me.
I was just absorbing everything around me and didn't know where to start first.
I had the Battlefield Guide by Major & Mrs Holt with me as a reference where to go. I visited all the museum along the coast from Ouistreham to Utah Beach.
Saw the para dropping @ la Fiere from the N13 passing St.Mere eglise cause i didn't knew where it was and how to go there but it was fantastic to see it for the first time like that even if it was from a distance. Those few days that i was there was quiet an experience for me and the start of a new episode in my life.
2 years later i met my present partner in St.Mere-Eglise and that changed my life completely. Visiting Carentan frequently where she lived and Houesville where her sister lives in her elderly home placed me in the middle of where all the action was as i later learned thanks to this forum. My presence on this forum brought some people together meaning the visit of Dick Ladd to the farmhouse Houesville thanks to a picture that was posted here on the forum by Mark and that was recognised by my partner. Now living on and off in Amsterdam and Isigny sur mer and having met friends along the way i feel blessed to be part of this community of airborne friends that keeps the memory alive of these brave men that fought for our freedom.
By the way, the first paratrooper i met was Julius Eisner , Pathfinder 505th 82 nd Airborne. We've been good friends ever since.
This was my post nr.1000 and one well placed !