It was an absolutely beautiful day today. 80 degrees, low humidity, no wind, no clouds to speak of.
So I went back to my favorite Parc and took a little bottle of wine and a sandwich poulet that I made from leftovers from last night’s dinner.
And I toasted the men who scaled those cliffs 70 years ago today.
And between toasts I ate my sandwich.
I make really good sandwichs.
The secret is: use the standard baguette; the tradi is too dense for a good sandwich.
But back to Normandy.
If it hadn’t have been for those men, Eisenhower chief among them, I would not be able to have had this wonderful day in this magical place.
My father didn’t get here until a few days later.
But I toasted him as well.
He got here, didn’t he?
And he never really came back.
I guess all the horrors didn’t stop at the cliffs.
Their day on that day, and the days that followed, makes my year in Saigon a trivial postscript to a trivial life.
The debt to those cliff-scalers, and to my father, that I was happy to pay – or thought that I was paying by going to Vietnam, rather that becoming a Canadian – turned out not to have been a a payment; it turned out to have been a joke.
My laughter has always been hollow.
The pictures start in le Jardin de Luxembourg and follow on down the spine of that part of the City to le parc.
No parrots were seen or even heard.