We left Heidelberg this morning and headed back to France. On the way we stopped at the Verdun battlefield, site of some savage World War I fighting. That was a war of insanity where Generals sent the troops over the top of their trenches into deadly machine gun fire to gain 100 yards only to give it up the next week. Millions of men died young before their time before they had a chance to enjoy life. We went through the museum, walked around Fort Douaumont and visited the Ossuary a tribute to the men who gave their lives. Here are two names out of thousands listed inside the building: Lauren Salabert, Maurice Delval. I have no idea who they were but I know they never saw their 28th birthday and there were so many more just like them. So sad.
We had lunch on the river in Verdun and the city has changed a great deal in 50 years. I was stationed here from 1960-62. Then it was a medieval town without much going for it. Now the downtown is all remodeled, streets are constructed with pavers and the waterfront area is filled with outdoor restaurants. After driving in a few circles we found my old military post which is now a French military post. I can't say I have fond memories of my time here but it is interesting to go back and see it again.
Tomorrow we are off to Meaux for our last night in Europe. It has been a great trip and there will be plenty of good memories which as always get richer as time passes.