Monday, May 08, 2006

The Band Marches On

Today is VE Day, the celebration of the victory of the Allies over Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945. We awoke on this sunny Monday with the sound of a marching band drifting in through the open window. (Admittedly, it was 9 AM. Yes, we're lazy. Gotta love these 3-day weekends!) The band was followed by a group of citizens carrying flowers and french flags, and celebrating the liberation from the control of Nazi Germany, over 60 years ago.

As a professional (Band Director, that is), I have to say it was impressive. They were in step, in tune, and precisely together. I wish I could have snapped a photo, but I was in my jammies and bed-head, with no glasses on and no camera handy. However, it was a nice way to wake up, and it is somehow comforting for me to see France continually celebrating the end of WW2 and the Holocaust. Though the world's problems are far from over, I am impressed by the choices the french people and government make, to honor and remember the past. A french friend once told me that the french feel a lot of guilt over what happened during the Nazi regime, and their lack of ability to stop it. They hold their history in their hands, and do not discard it or try to forget. Every day, I walk by plaques hanging on buildings telling which person died here in the struggle for the liberation of Paris, or pointing out the spot where the Jews were loaded on trucks for their trip to Drancy, and eventually to the Auschwitz death camp. The memorials are regularly decked with fresh flowers, to show that they have not been forgotten.

I hope that our world leaders can also learn from the past, and try to work together for peace, and for the benefit and survival of all human beings on this little planet.

    O Lord, help me not to despise or oppose what I do not understand.
    ~William Penn

Photo from this site, taken one year ago for the 60th anniversary of VE day.



At 4:29 PM, May 08, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I am glad to see that they have not forgotten ,as Americans,as well, have not forgotten and remember all the Americans who died to help liberate France from Germany.

At 4:42 AM, May 10, 2006, Blogger meredith said...

Hello from a fellow american band person in france. I played the "Marseillaise" in our small town's celebration on May 8th. I went from the University of Nebraska 300 member marching band to a 30 member small town provence band. It's been a fun way to meet people. Do you play in any bands in Paris?


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