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Note from Elaine: The current pandemic has inspired me to reminisce about “Before Time.” Today I give you, dear readers, the second blog post from a wonderful trip one year ago. This journey, full of tulips and windmills (and also a lot of history), was one of the best I’ve ever taken. Like so many others, I look forward to a time when we’re free to travel safely: May it come soon!

A highlight of this Viking River Cruise was visiting Mastricht and Nimegan in the Netherlands, sites of the WWII operation called Market Garden. The operation did not succeed in turning back Hitler’s armies and resulted in some 8,000 deaths of Allied soldiers. This somber reminder of war’s futility was one of the most meaningful parts of my recent journey to Holland and Belgium. I was adopted shortly after the end of the WWII…and in a way I’m a product of that conflict. Both my adoptive and original father served. They were among the lucky ones who returned. So many did not. On this day we honor those lost and those who fought in all wars for America’s freedom.

I was deeply moved listening to the guide at the American Cemetery in Mastricht. He explained that between five and ten thousand people visit the cemetery every Memorial Day to honor family members lost during the war.


Speaking of WWII, From Calcutta with Love, a tribute to my adoptive parents, is being reissued by Pajarito Press in late 2021. More information to follow. Join me on alternate Mondays for reflections as seen through adoption-colored glasses. And please let us know if you have a WWII story you’d like to share!