I run for many reasons….the endorphins, the calm, my mental health, trying to outrun my family history of heart disease and at least reach age 70, camaraderie, cake, the occasional bling, and to set new personal records/bests. But occasionally I run for remembrance, mostly for those I have known personally, last month though my partner proposed a different sort after a week of visiting WWII cemeteries, battle sites, and memorials—running Omaha Beach. No medals, no t-shirt just a simple run on a beautiful beach that not terribly long ago had been the location of so much sacrifice.
It was so incredibly poignant and brought to reality all those history classes I cruised through paying the least amount of attention that I could get away with and pass with a decent grade. Gazing across a short expanse of beach that must have seemed endless to those struggling to traverse it to reach the first bit of shelter from the enemy onslaught. No words I produce can equal the sacrifice, terror, bravery, tenacity, mayhem and bombardment of that time and I certainly can’t adequately express the emotions I was experiencing while running that beach.