Dino Bites

Dino Bites

Saturday, June 6, 2015

La Roche-en-Ardenne Castle

On Saturday the 23 of May, after Robin and I went to the American Cemetery for the ceremony of the previous post, we gathered the children together, ignoring their grumbling that we were taking them to some other dumb place. We took them to a ruined castle at Roche en Ardenne. This Castle had quite a few intact sections. We enjoyed the awesome falconry show that they had there. Everyone did have a lot of fun. The kids grumble that we roust them from the house, but always have fun when we do it. Why the complaining?
The girls at the entrance to the castle

The boys up on a defensive wall, ready to defend the castle.

Ben and the kids down in the lower courtyard where the craftspeople worked.

The whole family

View from the castle across the church and river. A wonderful view of the valley. We noticed that the windows on this church were all new. (Not the pictorial stained glass we see in other churches of it's age)  It is likely that this town saw heavy fighting during WWII. It was recaptured by the Germans during the Battle of the Bulge.

The view from across the valley up to the castle.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Memorial Day Ceremony at the Cemetery des Ardennes

I love Memorial Day!  In Utah, we have a big family picnic and party.  As a kid, I anticipated it almost as much as Christmas.  This year it was special in a very different way.

As I have mentioned before, we live rather close to an American Cemetery where lie many of the fallen from World War II.  At 1000 hours on the Saturday before Memorial Day, Ben and I went to the memorial ceremony.  The kids had gone to the ceremony for Veteran's Day, and they didn't want to go to another one.  (Also, we overslept a little and would have had a hard time getting all five kids out the door on time!)  At the cemetery, we ran into the senior missionary couple here in Li├Ęge and sat with them.

This ceremony was very well-attended!  There were lots of chairs and visiting dignitaries, including a representative of the King of the Belgians.

For me, the most moving moments were National Anthem.  School children from Rotheux, where the kids would have gone to school, sang the anthems of both Belgium and the United States.  At the end, the American band played the National Anthem again.  Hearing that music while looking over the crosses and stars of the cemetery was an experience I cannot describe and never want to forget.  Hearing Belgian children honor Americans who died for their freedom was powerful, too.  I wish the girls could have come, but I was glad that I could concentrate and appreciate the event without wrangling the boys.

Lots of Belgian flags.  In front, there are school children from Rotheux,
the larger town near us.

Beautiful wreaths, American military band, and Belgian soldiers

In the back, you can see some of the veterans who came

The band was very good.

Ben and Robin after the ceremony
In other news, we are now counting down the days until we return to Utah.  We have just over 2 weeks!