Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador's Story

Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador's Story

Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador's Story

Pattern of Circles: An Ambassador's Story

Excerpt

May 31, 1982. A beautiful day in Western Europe! My wife and two daughters are seated with me among the dignitaries attending Memorial Day ceremonies at the American Military cemetery in the picturesque village of Hamm, Luxembourg.

Behind us stretch the rows and columns of 5,074 white marble crosses and Stars of David marking the graves of American World War I dead. Among them the grave of General George S. Patton, Jr., is distinguished from the others only by its solitary place in the cemetery's first row. A gentle breeze ruffles the small flags—American Stars and Stripes and Luxembourg tricolor—placed before each marker.

Before us stands the memorial shrine. Against a clear sky, its brilliant white and burnished bronze are dazzling in the morning sun. Lest the acres of graves be an inadequate reminder, one of the shrine's walls bears the inscription:

1941 - 1945
IN PROUD REMEMBRANCE
OF THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF HER SONS
AND IN HUMBLE TRIBUTE
TO THEIR SACRIFICES
THIS MEMORIAL HAS BEEN ERECTED BY
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

But the people of Luxembourg need no reminders. Row upon row of folding chairs are occupied by citizens and officials of the Grand Duchy. All are here to commemorate the American liberation of their tiny country from the Nazi scourge.

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