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From the Bookshelf

One of my many excuses for not posting very much lately is that I’ve been catching up on some reading. I recently plowed through the last two volumes of Neal Stephenson’s Baroque Cycle plus some of his earlier work. Right now I’m finishing up Mark Twain’s The Innocents Abroad. It’s funny, of course, as Twain always is, but it contains some tidbits that are suprising to us in this modern age. For example, during his stay in France, Twain discovered that the French at that time did not use soap! Shocking, I know.

Since Memorial Day is tomorrow, and June 6th right around the corner, I thought I’d finally read The Bedford Boys: One American Town’s Ultimate D-Day Sacrifice by Alex Kershaw. This is the story of a group of young men from Bedford, VA, who were members of the 116th Infantry, part of the 29th Infantry Division, which assaulted Omaha Beach on D-Day.

Since the 29th was formed of National Guard units from Virginia and Maryland, it’s not surprising that men from the same town wound up in the same unit. As you can imagine, the 116th suffered terrible losses during the assault. Not for nothing is the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford; the town suffered the highest per-capita losses in the nation.

May we never forget the sacrifices our fighting men and women have made for us.

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