When I travelled to Normandy for the first time, I went there for holidays, to relax and maybe to see some old bunkers from Hitlers Atlantic Wall.
I found a lot of these concrete ruins, but what I didn’t expect was that I found way more.

I found lives.
I found the lives of the men who had to face and overcome these bunkers on D-Day.
I found the lives of the men who died in front of these bunkers 70 years ago.
I found the lives of those who died here to liberate Europe from Nazi terror.
I found their lives in the engraved words of the monuments.
I found their lives in documentations and illustrated books.

I found their lives and their names
in their gear, in their letters, in their pictures
Pictures of young couples.
Pictures of young women - waiting for them in vain.

I found their names.
I found their names on the countless white marble crosses on the cemeteries.
I found their names on the long walls of the missing ones.

I found their lives and their names.
I found their lives and their names in the stories of their comrades who survived.
I found their lives and their names in the eyes of the old veterans.

I found their lives and their names.
And I found their honor.
I found it in the destroyed bunkers,
in the bullet holes in the concrete,
in the flowers on their graves,
and in the tears of their comrades.

I found their honor and their lives.
I found it in my life.
I found it in my personal freedom to live as a free man in a free country.

And for this life
for my life
I would like to say "Thank you!“
for your lives.

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